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Six fire departments called to battle three house fires in Washington Park

Firefighters from six fire departments fought a blaze that destroyed two vacant Washington Park homes and damaged a third home that was occupied by three adults who were awakened by firefighters telling them to get out of the house early Thursday.

The three homes are next to each other in the 5700 block of Portland Place off Illinois 111, according to Assistant Fire Chief Ronnie Harris.

One firefighter was taken to a hospital for heat exhaustion suffered while fighting the blaze, which was reported at 4:15 a.m.

Three adults were in the home that was damaged.

“We woke up the people who were inside,” Harris said. “The house was starting to fill up with smoke as the fire was trying to get into the house.”

The two vacant homes were fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. They were able to prevent the third home from being destroyed.

A fourth alarm was sounded to bring in additional firefighters.

The Washington Park Fire Department was assisted by firefighters from Midway, Prairie du Pont, Fairmont City, Millstadt and Villa Hills.

Also, the American Red Cross provided assistance to the fire victims.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.