Fire strikes Herrin home for second time in nine months - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Fire strikes Herrin home for second time in nine months

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HERRIN (WSIL) -- A house fire destroys a home in Herrin just nine months after another fire at the same home killed a mother and daughter.

Neighbors say people were working to restore the home after the first fire in July, but now it's a total loss.

William Curtis Tippett moved to Herrin in July last year, right before a fire broke out at a home across from his home on 18th Street

"I think it was the day after we moved in," Tippett said. "We were coming back, just from moving stuff and there was fire department, just a bunch of fire engines here."

The fire on July 13, 2018 killed Mary Lee Litton and her daughter, Mary Jane Litton.

The home has been vacant ever since, and around 4:40 Friday morning, another fire broke out.  

Tippett said he had just woken up.

"I had a meeting this morning at 6, so I got about 4:30, went and got something to drink, went to the bathroom, came back and the house was just completely engulfed," Tippett said.

He said he didn't notice anything too out of the ordinary before the fire.

"Just a couple people walking down the street, and for right here, that's not really abnormal. People kind of go up and down the street at any given hour of the night. Just three people walking down the street that way," Tippett said while pointing north along 18th Street.

He said it was difficult to prepare for work.  

"I was just staring at the house the entire time like, "Oh God, if that tree right there catches on fire and anything comes this way, we're going.,'" Tippett said. "So I told my site manager if this happens, I'm going to be late."

He also woke up his fiance and their two-month-old daughter.

"My daughter was not happy about it. Being two-months-old, 4 in the morning is not a fun time," Tippett said.

Eventually Tippett got to work, came back around 8 and the fire was out.

He's still anxious about what happened.

"It was horrifying. I've never really feared for my safety here until then," Tippett said. "It kind of made me worry for a hot minute if living here is 100 percent safe. Twice in a year."

Herrin Fire Chief Shawn Priddy said the home had no utilities and no one was inside at the time, so no one was hurt.

An Illinois State Fire Marshal investigator on scene declined to comment and a spokesman for the department has not responded to messages seeking comment.

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