ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Oliver D. Joseph, a well-known Belleville automotive dealer, was killed Wednesday evening in a fire at his home. He was 82.
Firefighters said Joseph was found lying on the floor of his home at 1 Covered Bridge Lane in Fairview Heights.
The home, which is located in a wooded area, was fully engulfed when firefighters and police officers arrived on scene around 7:20 p.m. It took 2 1/2 hours to bring the fire under control.
Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert, who considered Joseph to be a personal friend, said Belleville has lost an icon.
"We have lost one of those founding families who's been around for a hundred years. They have always given back serving this community this is a major loss," Eckert said.
Joseph's father, Oliver C. Joseph, founded the dealership in the early 1900s. His son Brad now manages the dealership, which sells Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep automobiles.
Joseph was the only person in the home. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Illinois State Fire Marshal is working to determine the cause of the fire.