Cause of fire determined

By Erica Quednau |, Anthony Antoine |, Amanda Porterfield |

Published 12/14 2013 09:41PM

Updated 12/16 2013 05:23PM

Latest: 3:55 pm, 12/16/13, Monday
PHILO -- Officials say a fire which destroyed a home this weekend started in a wood-burning fireplace. No one was home at the time.

At least seven departments responded. It took about seven hours to put it out. No word on a damage estimate.
Update: 9:30 pm, 12/15/13, Sunday
PHILO -- Witnesses tried to save their neighbor's home, but the flames were too much. The fire happened at County Road 1480 and 600 North. WCIA-3's Anthony Antoine spoke to neighbors who saw the whole thing.

Johnny Ping is a Marine who's home on leave.

"We had some family over. We were just sitting downstairs hanging out.”

A family member went outside and saw the neighbor’s house on fire. Ping and his family sprung into action.

“We all went running over there, pounding on windows and doors to make sure no one was home.”

They immediately called 911 and waited for emergency crews.

“It felt like it took forever, but it probably only took about 10 minutes.”

More than five departments responded to the blaze.

“By the time the fire department got here, you can tell it was a total loss.”

The next morning, there’s not much left of the home. Authorities say the fire started in the back of the house. The flames moved quickly because of strong winds.

The homeowners have only lived in the house for about six months. Ping is thankful that no one was injured. But this isn't how he wanted to spend his time back home.

“It kind of sucks, you know, because you come home hoping to have a good time and then you see your neighbor’s house burn down. It's not a very good time. It just lets you know that this kind of thing can happen and you never know when it will.”

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Authorities do not suspect any suspicious activity.
Original: 9:41, 12/14/13, Saturday
PHILO -- Crews are battling a house fire on 1480 County Road 600 North. They arrived on scene about 7:45 pm.

Multiple departments responded to the scene including Philo, Pesotum, Villa Grove and Longview. No word on a cause or damage estimate at this time.

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