ALTON, Ill. (KMOV.com) -- A Metro-East fire that damaged several homes on Sunday morning is being called 'suspicious,' according to Alton fire officials.
The fire started in an unoccupied home in 1100 block of E. 7th, near 7th & Central. Fire officials say because of the early morning time, no one noticed the fire, and the home was fully involved by time firefighters arrived.
The fire completely destroyed one home, melted siding off another neighboring home, then spread to a third home. Flames raced through the neighboring home, and burst through the roof.
At one point , fire officials say large flames forced firefighters to evacuate the neighboring house.
Other neighborhood homes were evacuated, but officials say no one was hurt in the fires. Owners of Chong Chop Suey were reportedly watching the fire nervously because their business sits next to one of the houses that burned.
Firefighters said they kept the fire from spreading, but had a tough time putting out flames in the second house.
Officials say the fire remains under investigation, but is being considered suspicious at this time.