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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Fire damage estimated around $200K

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  • A Friday morning fire that may have caused as much as $200,000 in structural damage and displaced the residents of four apartments started around a kitchen range.
    "The guys were super quick knocking the fire down," Rolla Fire Chief Robert Williams said of the nine firefighters who rushed to the fire at 2101 Vienna Road in two fire trucks at approximately 11:20 a.m. Friday.
    Their quick response confined the fire to the kitchen, Williams said, but there was plenty of smoke and water damage to the rest of the building. He estimated total structural damage to be $150,000-$200,000 because of the amount of drywall and flooring that will have to be replaced. The chief estimated the damage to the contents at $25,000.
    Because the water service to the building had to be turned off, the Red Cross was called to assist in finding temporary housing if necessary. Williams said the residents appeared to be a mix of students and working young people.
    Williams and Assistant Chief Ron Smith were the two administrators who responded with the firefighters from both stations. Ladder 33 and Ladder 35 were the trucks dispatched to the fire; these trucks are called "quints" because each has five functions.
    Adam Housewright owns the fourplex, and Smith said it is arranged with two apartments downstairs and two apartments upstairs. There was "significant" damage to the upstairs kitchen where the fire began, plus smoke damage throughout that apartment.
    Water soaked the apartment below; the damage to the two apartments on the other side was "very little," Smith said.
    None of the residents was home at the time, so there were no injuries, Smith said.
    Chief Williams said the cause of the fire would go down in the records as accidental and undetermined. The fire began in or around an electrical smooth-top range.
    "There were no pots or pans on it to indicate it was in use," he said. "We won't call the state fire marshal."
    The stove, range hood and cabinets were destroyed.

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