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Coal City house fire involved live Christmas tree

Published: Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014 8:07 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 2:27 p.m. CDT

COAL CITY – The cause of Thursday's house fire in Coal City appears to be related to a live Christmas tree in the home.

The exact cause of the fire is still unknown, Coal City Fire Department Spokesman Nick Doerfler said Friday, but they do know "for a fact a live Christmas tree was involved."

Investigators do not know yet if the tree caught fire due to Christmas lights or because of the operating fireplace in the house, he said.

Firefighters spent about two hours early Thursday morning getting the fire at 6435 E. Deerfield Dr. in Coal City under control. The estimated damage to the home is $350,000, Doerfler said Friday.

At 1:03 a.m. Thursday the Coal City Fire Protection District was called and when crews arrived on scene the house was fully engulfed in flames. The fire was under control by about 3 a.m.

"When we arrived there was a partial roof collapse from the fire," Doerfler said Thursday.

Occupants of the house were notified by smoke detectors and had evacuated before firefighters arrived. One person was treated and released at the scene.

Doerfler said Friday to always make sure you have smoke dectors on every floor and in every bedroom of your residence, but to also make sure they are always working.

"(The smoke detectors) truly saved their lives. If not for (the smoke detectors) there would have been a different outcome," he said.

The house was located in Goose Lake, which is an area that does not have municipal water supply, Doerfler said Thursday, so there were no fire hydrants. Therefore, Coal City had to request assistance from more than 20 area agencies to make sure there was enough water on scene and to assist through the cold temperatures.

Firefighters were on scene until about 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

The Coal City Clothes Closet at 130 Blackstone in Coal City is taking donations for the family of the residence. Cathy Milne of the Clothes Closet said Thursday the family has four young children ages ranging from a baby to about six years old. To donate items for the family call Milne at 815-370-7817.

According to social media posts form Coal City residents, the home owners are Matt and Emily Keigher. An account has been formed for them on youcaring.com where people can donate monetarily by searching their name on the website. According to the information on the site, Matt Keigher is a firefighter and paramedic with the Joliet Fire Department.

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