West Frankfort Fire Fighters Keep Busy This Summer

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By Evie Allen
By Randy Livingston

WEST FRANKFORT --  Firefiighters in West Frankfort have been busy this summer. They've battled three house fires in just over a week. 

For fire departments, it can be feast or famine.

"There are times where we may not do anything for several months. And there are times we are busier than sometimes then we can handle," said fire chief Jody Allen.

West Frankfort firefighters have been trying to beat the heat during the most recent busy spell.

On August 23rd, crews responded to an electrical fire at a home near the corner of C and Old Marion Roads. Chief Allen said they called in other departments to keep dozens of men and women from overheating.

Less than 48 hours later, flames broke out at a house on West 4th Street. No one was home at the time. The cause is still undetermined.

On Labor Day crews battled flames at a third house on the corner of Van Buren and 6th.

"The house was fully involved, flames and smoke," said Allen.

The state Fire Marshall was called in to investigate two of the fires. Allen says the house was vacant so this fire is suspicious.

"Due to the fact that there was no utilities hooked up to the home. no power or electricity and no one had lived there," he added.

Investigators will keep busy looking into what sparked the fires. But the chief said he doesn't see a pattern.

"At this time it doesn't appear that they're all connected in any way."

Last month Christopher Evrard was charged with starting a string of fires at the Anna Gray high rise in West Frankfort. He's charged with arson and faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted.

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