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Two rescued from blaze southeast of Crocker on Wednesday morning
Two rescued from blaze southeast of Crocker on Wednesday morning

Crocker, Tri-County and Waynesville firefighters attack a blaze on Bobwhite Road southeast of Crocker Wednesday morning.
CROCKER, Mo. (UPDATED 5:25 p.m., Feb. 4, 2009) — Firefighters from four departments responded Wednesday morning to a fire southeast of Crocker near the corner of Bobwhite and Bobcat roads, fighting a fire that blocked that intersection until 2:11 p.m.

The blaze extensively damaged a split-level residence at 18516 Bobwhite Road, according to Crocker Assistant Fire Chief Mark Fancher, and was found by a neighbor. The residents were still in the house and didn’t know the fire had broken until the neighbor alerted them and called 911 at 11:14 a.m.

“If it hadn’t been for a neighbor checking the mail, it could have turned out a lot worse,” Fancher said. “When I arrived here, the basement was fully involved and I got here within three minutes of the fire page.”

Agencies assisting Crocker included the Tri-County Rural Fire Protection District of Richland and the Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District. St. Robert firefighters were called but cancelled en route; Pulaski County Ambulance District paramedics and Red Cross volunteers were summoned as well. No injuries were reported, Fancher said.

“It’s damaged extensively,” Fancher said. “The basement is burned from one end to the other and so are two of the bedrooms. It doesn’t look like it from the outside, but it is extensively damaged inside.”

Fancher said the neighbor can be credited with saving what’s left of the house and possibly the lives of its residents.

“This is a good save,” Fancher said. “I would think everybody in this county can be proud of the neighbors and our training and response time allowed us to save a lot of the house and their belongings.”

Fire Capt. Robert Ishmael said the first fire engine arrived at 11:21 a.m., seven minutes after the blaze broke out. The fire was brought under control at 1:14 p.m. and most firefighters left at 2:11 p.m., with some personnel remaining on the scene awaiting the arrival of the state fire marshal to determine a cause for the blaze. The cause wasn’t known as of Wednesday afternoon, Ishmael said.

Half of the basement was burned, along with one bedroom and the attic area, Ishmael said. Neither occupant of the house, Willis Crews and his wife, were hurt and both escaped safely.

Numerous agencies were called to the blaze. Ishmael said 16 Crocker firefighters responded with one engine, two tankers and a command vehicle; six Tri-County firefighters responded with two engines and five Waynesville firefighters responded with an engine and a tanker. St. Robert sent an engine which served as backup coverage for the area.

“The biggest challenge was this is in a rural area and getting apparatus to the fire was difficult,” Ishmael said.

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