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Wednesday fire destroys home; man sustains minor burns

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

A Vandalia man sustained minor burns in a fire Wednesday evening that destroyed his family's residence.

Vandalia's volunteer firefighters were called to the home of the Jeremy Beck family, at 904 N. Sixth St., at 8:41 p.m.

Because they were at the fire station for their weekly meeting, firefighters began arriving at the scene in about a minute. Upon their arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke and flames coming from the home.

The Beck family, which was alerted to the fire by smoke detectors, escaped without injury, but Jeremy Beck sustained minor burns when he re-entered the home to get the keys to the family vehicle. He was treated at Fayette County Hospital and released.

Fire officials believe that the fire started in the attic, near the center of the home, and was burning for sometime before the smoke detector sounded.

Firefighters were hindered by the fact that the fire had spread into areas between ceilings within the roof structure.

Firefighters were unable to use a hydrant in the front yard of the home, because it was frozen, but that did not delay or hamper their efforts. They initially used water from fire trucks and hooked to another nearby hydrant.

Fire officials estimated the property damage at $50,000 and the loss in contents at $25,000.

Firefighters were at the scene for about three hours, and spent a considerable amount of time after that thawing out and cleaning hose and equipment.