STILLMAN VALLEY, Ill. (WTVO) — It was a close call for Stillman Valley’s head football coach and his family on Monday.
However, it was not flooding this time, but lightning. Mike Lalor said that the was getting ready to leave for the first football practice of the season when his property was hit, starting a fire in the garage.
Lalor quickly closed the doors to contain the flames and called 911. Firefighters quickly put out the blaze, and damage was limited to the garage and an attic space. For the most part, the house was untouched.
Lalor said that he was only home because he was running late.
“Normally, I probably wouldn’t even been at the house and the kids might have been here by themselves until they drove up to practice, and you just start running things like that through your head, it is beyond scary what this all, what could have happened this morning,” Lalor said. “So, it’s been a whirlwind. We just thank the guy upstairs that everybody is safe.”
Stillman Valley Fire Chief Chad Hoefle said that Lalor likely saved the house by closing the garage doors.
“They made a really good stop, the only reason the fire was able to be stopped was because the homeowner, when they encountered the heavy black smoke in the garage, they closed the door,” Hoefle said. “It stopped the fire from going anywhere else in the house, it stopped the heavy smoke from going in the house. The other thing, he kept the main garage door for the cars closed as well which kept the fire oxygen limited.”