ALTON - Alton Battalion Chief Jeff Knipp and his late afternoon firefighter group were extraordinarily busy during a 10-minute stretch after 5 p.m. Wednesday. Three reports came in during that span - a call of fire from a power line near Halpin Music, another of a tree that ripped off the side of a house on 12th Street, and a call of a generator smoking on the theater side of Alton Square Mall.

Godfrey Fire Protection District handled the call to Alton Square and found a generator was burning oil.

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Halpin's thankfully was not struck by the power line down near it and the fire department was able to get that situation under control. The Alton firefighters also worked the tree damage on 12th Street.

Knipp said Alton definitely received its share of calls this Wednesday compared to the previous storm that hit St. Louis so hard. During his conversation with, he and his fire department members had to depart to a report of smoke in a basement on College Avenue in Alton.

National Weather Service meteorologist Lydia Jaja said the tree damage around the area likely occurred because of convective wind gusts that struck the surface in a fast fashion, then went back up in the air. She said the area is under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch until 8 p.m. Wednesday.

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