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Lightning wrecks outbuilding outside Crocker on Tuesday night
Lightning wrecks outbuilding outside Crocker on Tuesday night

Crocker firefighters found this structure fully ablaze Tuesday night.

CROCKER, Mo. (Sept. 25, 2012) — An old proverb says lightning never strikes the same place twice.

However, fires can and do.

Firefighters from Crocker responded Tuesday night to a fully-involved structure fire on the corner of Benton and Highway 17 about three miles north of town, finding a burning shed in the woods on the same property to which firefighters responded two years earlier when the house on the property burned down.

According to Crocker Fire Chief Mark Fancher, the property had been abandoned since the house burned down and the shed had little property inside.

“Just some old debris, just a little bit of stuff here and there, nothing much,” Fancher said. “There’s been nothing in there for probably 10 or 15 years, that’s what the homeowner was saying.”

The outside shell of the building is still standing but Fancher said about 80 percent of the structure has been burned.

Tuesday’s fire was likely caused by lightning, Fancher said.

“We had a neighbor just across the road who was sitting on his front porch during the whole lightning storm,” Fancher said. “He said he seen a whole bunch of lightning strikes in this area and all of a sudden there was a blue explosion at the building and then it was on fire.”

Fancher said 17 Crocker firefighters responded with three engines and two tankers;

Tri-County firefighters from Richland responded with an engine and a tanker and provided standby coverage for the area at the main Crocker fire station, Fancher said. Pulaski County Ambulance District personnel also responded, but no law enforcement was needed since the fire was far enough back in the woods that Highway 17 didn’t have to be closed for fire trucks to access the fire.

No one was hurt in the blaze; the structure is considered a total loss.

The large response of personnel and equipment to a shed happened because firefighters initially thought they were facing a full-scale residential structure fire rather than an outbuilding.

“With the initial reports, we thought it was south of Benton Road,” Fancher said. “Once I got a hold of (the Pulaski County 911) Comm Center, they thought it was north of Benton Road. There is an abandoned structure out there and we thought we were going to have to shut down the road if that had been the case, but prior to Benton Road this is what we came up on.”

Even more people had been on the way to the fire.

“Once we found out it was a shed we put Tri-County out at our station for coverage, we shut one of our engines down, and then had them head back to our station for coverage, and we had (an engine and a tanker) head to the scene non-emergency but once they got on the scene we went ahead and sent them back for service.”

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