ALTON - Alton firefighters were joined by East Alton and the Madison County Rehab Unit to battle a very serious fire with a call-out at 6 a.m. Friday at 20th and Alby.

Alton Deputy Fire Chief Matt Fischer said the fire occurred at 1912 Alby and declared the blaze "a total loss."

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He said when firefighters arrived, flames were shooting through the second floor. The firefighters had to battle the blaze from a "defensive standpoint" for safety. All occupants of the structure were reported out of the structure, the deputy fire chief said.

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Fischer said the structure had been added to and was cut up on the inside, which made it even more difficult to fight. He praised his firefighters and the others for their efforts and said an Alton shift change handled the transition seamlessly.

As of 8:50 a.m. on Friday, the firefighters were still out at the scene fighting the fire and that area on Alby is also blocked off to traffic, the deputy chief said.

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