PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Two people needed help from the local chapter of the American Red Cross after someone intentionally burned their South Peoria home.

That’s the word from a Peoria Fire Department investigator who responded to the 1200 block of South Matthew Street. That block is bounded by West Starr Street on the south and by West Garden Street on the north.

Firefighters were called to the 1 1/2-story home just after 9:30 p.m. and when they arrived, they saw heavy flames and black smoke from the home’s roof.

Additional fire, the department noted in a news release, was seen in the rear of the house. The home was missing stairs which hindered the efforts to put out the fire.

Given the spread of the fire, crews were ordered out of the house and the plan to fight the fire switched to focus on the home’s second story. Once the bulk of the fire was put out, crews went back into the house to search for victims as well as to put out the rest of the blaze.

No one was found inside the house which was so badly damaged that it had to be demolished. 

Damage was estimated at $60,000.