No one was injured Tuesday morning when a fire broke out in the living room of a home at 5490 Chapel Hill Road off of Highway K. The home was unoccupied at the time of the blaze, although the owner had been there on Monday.
St. Clair Fire Protection District Interim Chief Mike Kelley said fire crews were dispatched to the residence at 9:25 a.m. When they arrived, there was smoke showing from the exterior, but no fire.
Firefighters forced their way into the home and found a nearly smothered fire in the living room. It was under control within five minutes.
"It either had run out of oxygen or fuel," Kelley said. "It was nearly suffocated."
The residence was a log-style home that looked to be 100 to 150 years old, the interim chief said.
The cause is undetermined, but it does not appear to be suspicious.
Kelley said the owner, Cassandra Love, was not living at the residence at the time of the fire because of the colder weather conditions. She had been to the house on Monday afternoon, but did not stay.
There was smoke and heat damage in the interior of the home, but little water damage, Kelley said. He also said exterior damage was minimal.
Sixteen St. Clair firefighters and seven trucks were on the scene. The last crew left at about 1 p.m.
Chapel Hill Road is south of the Meramec River off of Highway K and a couple of miles north of the Washington County line.