Firefighters called to two unoccupied buildings

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Cape Girardeau firefighters battled two blazes in unoccupied buildings early Monday morning. The first fire broke out at 728 Good Hope St. around 4:55 a.m., said fire captain Brian Shaffer. A newspaper delivery person alerted the fire department that flames were visible on the west side of the two-and-a-half story wooden building. Within 15 minutes, the fire was under control, but not before the blaze caused heavy damage to the structure of the house, Shaffer said. Neighbors advised firefighters that no one was at home when the fire started. Firefighters had to access the second floor by ladder because the stairway was completely burned out. The second fire occurred at 146 S. Frederick St., in another unoccupied building. Neighbors called the fire department when they saw white smoke billowing out from under the eaves of the structure, Shaffer said. The focal point of the fire appeared to be a smoldering mattress, Shaffer said, though the cause is still under investigation. Falling embers demolished the basement of the structure. The building, which is owned by the Southeast Missourian, has been offered to the fire department for use as a training facility, Shaffer said.

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