EFFINGHAM — Two Effingham residents safely escaped their home before it was severely damaged in fire late Friday night, officials said.

The Effingham Fire Department received a call at 11:12 p.m. Friday regarding a fire at a home at 1000 West St. Anthony Ave., which is located at the corner of North Oak Street in Effingham.

Effingham Assistant Fire Chief Matt Kulesza said although residents were home at the time of the fire, they safely escaped the home, but were taken to HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital as a precaution.

“The female owner and her son were both taken to St. Anthony just for a little bit of smoke inhalation, but then they were just released,” Kulesza said.

According to Kulesza, the fire is determined to have originated in the living room area of the home where a three-wick candle was burning in a glass jar.

“The glass jar broke, and caught the paperwork that was on the table on fire,” he said. “And then it caught the curtains on fire.”

Kulesza said when the firefighters arrived on scene at 11:13 p.m., they deployed hoses and saw fire blowing out of the west side of the home.

“We did a fast attack from the exterior of the building until we had additional crews, and then we went inside two different access points — one from the south, one from the north — trying to get to the fire,” he said.

He said once they got inside the home, crews were met with “very extensive heat,” and the second floor of the structure began to collapse.

“So from that point, we evacuated everybody out of the interior and we just moved to an exterior defensive operation,” Kulesza said.

No first responders were harmed.

The Effingham Fire Department received assistance from first responders from Shumway, Teutopolis, Dieterich, Watson, Beecher City, Greenup and Stewardson as well as Rural Med EMS, Ameren, Effingham Police Department and Effingham Public Works.

“Then we had Olney and Edgewood at our station covering other calls,” Kulesza said.

The Effingham Fire Department left the scene of the fire at approximately 4:30 a.m. Saturday.

Nick Taylor can be reached at nick.taylor@effinghamdailynews.com or by phone at 618-510-9226 or 217-347-7151 ext. 300132.

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