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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Fire burns house to ground

  • Firefighters from at least three different departments in Phelps County were unable to save a residence south of Rolla that was leveled by a fire Friday evening.
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  • Firefighters from at least three different departments in Phelps County were unable to save a residence south of Rolla that was leveled by a fire Friday evening.
    The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time, according to Billy Martin, assistant chief with the Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District.
    "By the time we got there, it was basically gone. It was pretty well to the ground when we got there," he said.
    Fire crews were called around 5:15 p.m. March 29 to the home located at 20232 County Road 7490, off U.S. Highway 63, over 10 miles south of Rolla. Terry Mathenia owned the two-story wooden-framed home, Martin said.
    Mathenia and his family were on vacation when the structure caught fire Friday evening, Martin said. No one else was in the home and nobody was injured.
    Martin said one of Mathenia's relatives who lived close by was in the home earlier Friday to feed some pets and noticed nothing out of the ordinary at that time. Later, smoke was noticed coming out of a window of the home.
    Assisting the Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District were the Rolla Rural Fire Protection District, Edgar Springs fire crews, Phelps County Sheriff's Department, Phelps County Ambulance and Intercounty Electric and the Doolittle Auxiliary Fire Department.
    Crews were on the scene for about five hours, Martin said.
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