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Couple escapes early morning house fire
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A Springfield couple escaped harm after their house caught on fire early Tuesday morning.

Springfield firefighters were at the house, at 505 North Oak St., near the intersection with Jefferson Street, in four minutes. The couple has been renovating the house for quite a while, said Springfield Fire Chief Travis Zittrouer.

The fire, which broke out around 1:25 a.m., started in the rear of the home near the kitchen and laundry area.

"The building is probably a total loss," Zittrouer said. "But we did save some belongings."

Zittrouer said fires in older homes such as the one that burned Tuesday morning are dangerous, because flames can spread quickly throughout those structures.

"If you don’t get a quick knockdown of the fire, you’re going to be surrounding and drowning," he said of firefighters’ tactics. "Older homes like that burn a lot hotter. We call them the ‘nightmare scenario.’"

The couple was asleep on the bottom floor of the home when the smoke alarm roused them, Zittrouer said.

There were 25 firefighters and 10 vehicles, six of them trucks fighting the fire, from the Springfield, Rincon and Effingham County fire departments to combat the blaze.