Sunday blaze wrecks home south of Richland

Darrell Todd Maurina

Sunday blaze wrecks home south of Richland

Firefighters from four departments spent much of early Sunday morning fighting a blaze on Retired Road west of Highway 133
RICHLAND, Mo. (Dec. 1, 2008) — More than a dozen firefighters from four districts spent many hours extinguishing an early Sunday morning blaze south of Richland.

Capt. Ann Balmer of the Hazelgreen Rural Fire Protection District said her department was summoned shortly after midnight by the Pulaski County 911 Center, which had received a fire call from a passing motorist who happened to be a volunteer Tri-County firefighter from Richland. That firefighter reported a residential structure fire about a mile west of Highway 133 on Retired Road, which is north of the Gasconade River Bridge. About 75 percent of the house was already on fire, according to the initial reports.

“Basically it was fully engulfed when we got there,” Balmer said. “We started out attacking the front of the blaze to push the flames off the back part of the building that was still standing.”

Balmer said firefighters “did pretty good” at extinguishing the blaze and the back bedroom portion of the house, while heavily damaged, remained standing.

Hazelgreen firefighters called for backup from the Tri-County Rural Fire Protection District in Richland, the Crocker Rural Fire Protection District, and Stoutland firefighters, who began a tanker shuttle from a hydrant in Richland to bring water to the blaze. St. Robert firefighters came to Hazelgreen fire station to provide backup coverage in case of another fire in the area.

Total personnel, vehicle and water usage statistics weren’t immediately available, but Balmer estimated between 14 and 18 firefighters responded from all departments.

No one was home at the time of the fire, Balmer said, and no humans were injured.

“We recovered a very large dog that died in the fire so the family could give their pet a proper burial,” Balmer said.

Foul play is not suspected, Balmer said.

“No suspicious activity is thought to have happened,” Balmer said. “We did not have a fire marshal on scene so this is not an official statement of cause, but it looks like it started at the wood-burning furnace.”

Firefighters left the house between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m., Balmer said.

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