A relief fund has been established at Maries County Bank for six volunteer firefighters injured Friday.
Officers from the Maries County Sheriff’s Office and volunteer firefighters from the Vienna Fire Protection District investigated a house fire on Highway 28 West on Friday. While firefighters were fighting the fire there was an explosion in the residence. Six firefighters from the Vienna volunteer fire department were injured, Maries County Sheriff Chris Heitman said on Friday.
Assistant fire chief, Mark Buschmann, and firefighters T.J. Jeremy, Mason Smith, Chad James, Mark Honse, and Chase Lenning, were transported to various mid-Missouri hospitals on Friday for second and third-degree burns incurred while fighting the structure fire, the Vienna Fire Protection District said.
Five of the six firefighters were released on Friday, while one firefighter was kept overnight for observation on Friday, and was released on Saturday from the University of Missouri Health Center. The six firefighters are now recovering from their injuries, the Vienna Fire Protection District said in a Facebook post on Saturday.
“The last of our firefighters injured in yesterday's fire and resulting explosion has been released from University of Missouri Health Center and is on his way home. Please continue to keep these men in your thoughts and prayers as they begin the recovery process from their injuries,” the Vienna Fire Protection District said.
The cause of the fire and resulting explosion remain undetermined the Vienna Fire Protection District said on Saturday. The Missouri State Fire Marshal is assisting with the investigation.
To aid the volunteer firefighters with the expenses incurred from their injuries, a Vienna Fire Fighter Relief Fund was established at Maries County Bank.
“Please donate to this fund if you can. These heroes are volunteers and run towards danger for no pay. I’m sure several of them are going to miss some work and will incur expenses from this incident,” Sheriff Heitman said.
The Vienna Fire Protection District said in their latest update on Saturday that the district would like to: “Extend our sincerest thanks to all of those that had a hand in the care and treatment of not only to our injured firefighters, but to our whole department and especially our families.
“The outpouring of support, respect, gratitude, and caring shown for our entire Vienna Fire family is greatly appreciated by all. Thanks to all the area agencies and businesses for their excellent care and support during this event.
“Special thanks go Waynesville Rural Fire Department and Rolla City Fire Departments for the additional support provided into the evening of the incident.”