(Kit Doyle) [Order this photo]
Crews responded to a single-story house at 534 S. Hanover St. after a neighbor called in the fire around 5:30 p.m.
Scott City firefighters helped bring the fire under control. Jackson and off-duty Cape Girardeau firefighters were also called to fill in during the fire, said Cape Girardeau fire chief Rick Ennis.
Neighbors said no one has lived in the house for months. The house is surrounded by two unoccupied houses and a vacant lot.
Mandy Hanebrink said her uncle owns the house next door and uses it for storage. She said she saw smoke and walked over to make sure his house was not on fire. The house next door was soon in flames, she said.
"I heard a pop and saw flames shoot out the back of it," said Hanebrink, who lives down the street on the corner of Hanover and College streets.
Other neighbors also said they heard a popping sound. Bruce Proffer said he saw smoke coming out the back of the house.
"It went real quick from there," said Proffer, who lives two houses down.
The back half of the house was engulfed in flames when fire crews arrived, Ennis said.
The fire is under investigation by the fire and police departments, he said.