Young man saves family from burning Metro East home


by Eric Lorenz /

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 11 at 1:54 AM

700 block of Stolze Street.

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EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. ( – A Metro East man saved his mother and sister when he arrived home Friday morning to find his house on fire.

According to reports, the fire started around 3 a.m. on the back porch of the Edwardsville home in the 700 block of Stolze Street.

Josh Renfrow, 20, told authorities he arrived home from work and decided to stay up late. Around 3 a.m. he said he noticed a "burnt popcorn" smell and went to investigate. Renfrow said he found the back of his home on fire and flames shooting in the back door. "It was crazy and scary," Renfrow said.

He ran to alert his mother and 13-year-old sister after discovering the fire. He was able to get them out of the home through a window. They were not injured. Josh also escaped without injury.

Firefighters arrived on the scene a short time later and extinguished the flames. The fire, smoke and water caused significant damage. An Illinois fire marshal said the home may be a total loss.

Renfrow said, "It’s really sad. I’ve lived here my whole life and now we have to start from rock bottom."

The Red Cross responded and is assisting the family.

Fire officials continue to investigate the cause of the fire, and say they have not ruled out suspicious cause.