Flames blaze Friday night in the upper floor of a home in the 300 block of South Middle Street in Cape Girardeau. No one was living in the home at the time of the fire.
Shortly before 7 p.m., firefighters were called to 319 S. Middle St. by neighbors reporting heavy smoke and flames from the home. They brought the blaze under control in a short time, attacking the flames from inside before dousing fire that had burst through dormer windows, charring the roof and framing.
The Cape Girardeau Fire Department called on Jackson and Scott City crews to help cover the city while they fought the blaze.
The cause of the fire was to be investigated as soon as remaining hot spots were extinguished, Cape Girardeau fire chief Rick Ennis said. The flames appeared to have been confined to the second floor, he said.
The home was occupied by renters until recently, said Don Ganim, owner of the home. The house was winterized after they moved, and electric service had been discontinued.
Capt. Jeff Crites of the Cape Girardeau Fire Department comes down from the roof after a Friday night fire in the upper floor of a home at 319 S. Middle St.
"I went out, and the whole block was smoky. It was pitch black," she said.
She did not see the flames until she went into her yard. She then called 911 and directed her children and her mother to leave their home for safety.
Earlier in the day, Smith said, she had seen two teenage boys in the yard. Later, as she returned from shopping, she said she thought she "saw a light in there."
As she watched the fire from across the street, Jean Gray said the fire erupted quickly. She had last looked at the house about 10 minutes before hearing the arrival of emergency crews. "I looked out the window, and it was burning," she said.