A fire of undetermined origin destroyed a house at 1223 Pacific St. Tuesday afternoon.
According to assistant chief Mark Hasheider of the Cape Girardeau Fire Department, the fire broke out at 4:09 p.m. in a house owned by Archie Maglone.
Fire crews from all four fire stations responded.
Maglone was not home at the time. He said he had gone out for a few minutes, and when he returned he saw smoke coming from the house.
Jessica McNeely of Cape Girardeau was visiting relatives across the street from Maglone Tuesday afternoon. She said she was talking on the telephone to a friend when she heard an insistent car horn sounding.
"It was him trying to get someone's attention," McNee-ly said of Maglone.
McNeely said she also smelled smoke and then realized that Maglone's house was on fire. She said she called the fire department, and was told someone else had already turned in the alarm.
According to the fire department, the fire began in the living room near the couch. Hasheider said that gusty winds caused the fire to quickly escalate to the front porch and into the attic. Only the back bedroom remained intact. Hasheider said the house will most likely be condemned.
Maglone sat in the back of a van smoking a cigarette, surrounded by some relatives, as he watched firefighters work to put out the fire. He said he couldn't remember how long he had lived there, and that he had lived alone since his wife died.
Maglone said until he decides what to do next he will stay with a niece on South Frederick Street.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. One firefighter, Randy Sanders, injured his knee, but did not require medical treatment.