An area family who has a 7-year-old child battling cancer lost their mobile home south of Rolla to an early morning fire Wednesday.
According to Rolla Rural Fire Protection District Interim Chief Jeremy Light, the homeowners — the Frayer family — were not at the residence when the fire was reported around 1:30 a.m. Nobody was injured.
“It’s a total loss ... completely burned,” Light said. The double-wide home was located in the 13000 block of County Road 5480, about a mile west of State Highway 72.
The cause and source of the fire is unknown at this point, Light said. “It was so heavily burnt, you can’t tell where it started,” the interim chief said, noting that the structure was “fully engulfed” when firefighters arrived.
The investigation is being handled by the Missouri State Fire Marshal’s Office. Assisting the Rolla Rural department was a tanker from St. James.
A neighbor reported the blaze, according to Light. Crews were on the scene until about 6 a.m.
Timothy and Heather Frayer, the homeowners, are the parents of Andrew Frayer, a bone cancer patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. Andrew is a student at Mark Twain Elementary School.
Light said the American Red Cross was contacted to help the family.
“It’s a bad deal,” Light said of the situation.
How to help
To help the family, several people in the community have organized a chili lunch and silent auction to be held this Sunday, Oct. 28, at the Mark Twain Elementary School cafeteria from 1-4 p.m.
For a donation of $5, attendees can enjoy a bowl of chili, a dessert and water or lemonade. Soda will be available for an additional $1. The community can also donate desserts, preferably cookies or brownies.
Financial donations or donations of bowls, spoons, napkins, crackers as well as silent auction items can be dropped off at the City of Rolla Fire and Rescue headquarters on 10th Street Thursday and Friday.
Ron Smith, training officer with Rolla Fire and Rescue, said the department has sent Andrew a helmet and other fire department items to help keep his spirits up.
The Rolla Rural Fire Protection District headquarters on Lions Club Drive also will have a donation box, Light said.
Earlier this month, a Wish 5K, 10K run was held Oct. 13 at the Mitchell Clinic in St. James. The event gave the community a chance to raise funds through the Make-A-Wish Foundation to send Andrew to Disney World.
A Facebook page called Prayers for Andrew, which gives updates on Andrew’s progress, is available at http://www.facebook.com/PrayersForAndrew.
According to the Facebook page, Andrew has diagnosed with a rare type of cancer called Ewing Sarcoma, a bone cancer, after tests found a tumor and lesions on his spine and leg