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Two homes damaged by fire last week

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

Two area homes sustained substantial damage from fires late last week.

Shortly after 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Vandalia firefighters were summoned to the home of Terry Alsbury northeast of Vandalia.

When it was discovered that the home is in the Brownstown Fire Protection District, firefighters from Brownstown were also dispatched.

Both fire departments arrived at the scene at the same time, 12:47 p.m., and found heavy smoke coming from the eaves of the home.

Brownstown firefighters entered the home from the back door, and Vandalia firefighters went around to the front of the residence. As efforts to ventilate the home were begun, it was discovered that the fire was in the front of the home, in a bedroom.

Fire officials believe that the fire started in either a front bedroom or bathroom, and the fire was contained to that area.

Firefighters were at the scene for about 90 minutes.

Fire officials estimated the damage at $22,500, $15,000 to the property and $7,500 to the contents of the home.

Firefighters unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate a family dog after it was recovered from the smoke-filled residence.

At 1:10 p.m. on Friday, Vandalia firefighters were called to the residence at 215 N. Sixth St. after a former member of the fire department, Brent Bayles, noticed smoke coming from the home.

Firefighters arrived at the residence within a minute and quickly knocked down the fire, which fire officials determined had started in the living room of the home. The residence is owned by Katie Schukar of Vandalia and was being occupied by Debbie Sapp and Eddie Reese.

Fifteen firefighters responded to the call, and they were at the scene for a little more than an hour.

Damage to the property was estimated at $35,000, and damage to the contents was estimated at $10,000.

An investigator with the Office of the State Fire Marshal determined that the fire was accidental in nature.