By Amy Kent
Herald Staff Writer
Fire crews from the Clinton Fire Department and Fulton Fire Department were dispatched to 711 Locust Place in Clinton on Monday for a house fire burning out of control.
At 3:30 p.m., Gerald Carr made the call to the Clinton Fire Department after seeing smoke while in his daughter's garage across the alley.
"I was working in the garage and I saw so much smoke, so I called it in," Carr said. "Then I saw the fire start coming out of the doors and windows and start melting the siding."
The flames started at about 4 or 5 feet high in the lower, basement level of the home before quickly moving through the house, according to Carr. After receiving the call, crews arrived quickly on the scene to begin extinguishing the fire.
"It's didn't take them long to get here, maybe five or six minutes," Carr said. "But, fire can gain so much speed in a short amount of time."
Anthony Wright has lived in the home for approximately two years with his wife and four children. During the time of the fire, Wright had been working but two of his children and his niece were in the house at the time of the fire.
According to Wright, the children smelled the smoke coming from the basement of the home, and got out through the front door, away from danger.
"I was working and my landlord called and said the house was on fire," Wright said. "(But) everyone got out in time and no one got hurt."
Also on scene Monday was a crew from Alliant Energy that cut the power and gas lines to the house.
Although the cause of the fire is yet to be determined, Clinton Police Capt. Bill Greenwalt said as soon as the fire is contained an investigation team will survey the scene to determine a cause.
"We've got to render the structure safe before we can get anyone inside," Greenwalt said.