State Fire Marshal called in to investigate 2 fires in Millstadt

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MILLSTADT, IL (KPLR) - Two fires within a few miles of each other and breaking out within minutes has people wondering what’s going on in the Millstadt, Illinois. Fire Chief Kurt Pellman has been on the volunteer force for more than 3 decades. He said it’s been a long time since his crews were so busy at one time.  Pellman said, “That’s unusual for a town Millstadt’s size.”

Early Monday morning flames leaped from the Kountry Korners Bar and Grill just south of Millstadt. It broke out just before 6 am this morning. Firefighters had to break into the building to fight the fire.

30 minutes later and about 2 and half miles away, a home north of Millstadt was burning badly. The fire chief called in the State Fire Marshal to launch an investigation.  Pellman said, “It throws up a flag to me to have two fires too close north, south.” No one was injured at either blaze. But, the water supply was a problem at both scenes, at the bar they drafted water from a nearby lake, and at the house the rushed in tanker trucks.

Assistant Fire Chief Dale Stallman said, “It was through the roof when we got here we had to call in additional resources.” Another 6 departments pitched in to help at the two fires as well as a car crash nearby. So much fire at one time is not common here.  Garry Crane is a tavern customer.  He said, “It’s kind of suspicious I think because it’s within 30 minutes apart and that’s kind of odd.”

It’s unclear if this information is related, a man who gave the burning home as his address to authorities back in December was charged with several counts involving drugs, specifically meth.  When the flames died down people could see spray painted in graffiti on a wall inside the home was the word “drug” followed by the later “d.”  Assistant Chief Stallmann spent much of his time fighting the house fire, “At this time it’s considered suspicious.”

Firefighters brought charred samples to the fire marshal’s dog to sniff to help to determine if there may be a crime connected in the fires.