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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Structure fire results in total loss, family displaced

  • A family of three is displaced after a Monday morning structure fire resulted in a total loss.
    St. James Fire Protection District Chief Bruce Parton said the cause of fire remains undetermined, but luckily no one was home and no one was injured.
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  • A family of three is displaced after a Monday morning structure fire resulted in a total loss.
    St. James Fire Protection District Chief Bruce Parton said the cause of fire remains undetermined, but luckily no one was home and no one was injured.
    "We were there approximately three hours," the chief said. "We hauled over 27,000 gallons to the scene, but we could never get it under control. The wind really intensified the flames.
    "There were some times when the water wasn't even reaching the fire because it was so windy."
    Parton said firefighters responded to the call at 14770 Country Road 2340 at 10:28 a.m.
    By the time fire apparatus was on the scene, the house was already engulfed by the blaze. The Vichy Fire Department, Cuba Fire Department and Rolla Rural Fire Protection District were called in to assist.
    "It had a pretty good head start," he said. "We could actually see the flames, not just the smoke, from a distance."
    Parton said the house was owned by sisters Tonya Neal and Crystal Deluca of St. James.
    On Tuesday, the American Red Cross Heart of Missouri Chapter issued a press release stating that it had been called to assist the three-member family, along with another St. James family whose home caught fire on Sunday.
    "The Red Cross provided financial resources for the families to meet their immediate emergency needs with the purchase of food, clothing and shoes. They also received comfort kits, which contain personal hygiene items, and referrals to local partner agencies," the press release stated.
    Parton said the winter months are a busy season for firefighters.
    "It seems on a whole that fire departments respond to more structure fires in the winter because of improper heating, space heaters and furnaces not being used properly and flues that don't get cleaned out," he said. 
The fire on Sunday occurred on County Road 1050.

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