Trouble with an upright deep freezer may have led to a fire that burned a rural St. James one-story home early Sunday morning.
According to St. James Fire Protection District Chief Bruce Parton, the fire was reported around 4:45 a.m. April 14 at the residence located at 19930 County Road 1220.
The homeowner, Adam Bingham, his wife and another adult apparently escaped without injuries. Smoke woke up the occupants, Parton said.
The home is located about 10 or 11 miles northeast of St. James, and firefighters arrived at about 5:03 a.m. Parton said.
“When we got there, there was heavy fire venting out of all the windows of the house,” Parton said, noting that the structure was 75 percent involved when crews arrived on the scene.
“The building was standing, but the interior was pretty well gutted,” the chief added. The kitchen area sustained the most damage.
Bingham told crews that there had been trouble with the freezer.
“We didn’t see anything out of the ordinary,” Parton said. “What the homeowner told us doesn’t suggest anything suspicious.”
About 10 St. James firefighters responded along with tankers of additional water from both the Rolla Rural Fire Protection District and Cuba fire crews. Approximately 13,600 gallons of water was used to extinguish the blaze, Parton said.
Parton said Bingham did have insurance coverage on the house. The last crews left the scene around 7:29 a.m.
American Red Cross Heart of Missouri Chapter volunteers are assisting the family.