by Sam Clanton
BRANSON, Mo. – Local firefighters are spread out thin as numerous reports of brush fires, structure fires and even a commercial gas leak came in Tuesday afternoon.
Around 3 p.m. Western Taney County firefighters responded to a mobile home fire on Wallace Lane near the Stone County line northwest of Branson. Fire Chief Chris Berndt…
Crews from Southern Stone County and Branson provided mutual aid at the scene. Three adult residents of the home were displaced by the fire, and received assistance from the American Red Cross.
During the response, Western crews were called to the Taco Bell in Hollister on a report of a gas leak…
Berndt says at the same time, crews also responded to a report of a tree on fire, and experienced some difficulty finding the location.
In the middle of all this, Western received a request from the City of Ozark Fire Department to help extinguish a large residential structure fire in progress. Berndt says by this time, no resources were available and he forwarded the request to the Branson Fire Department, which did send up an engine to help Ozark.
Residents are reminded that outdoor burning is greatly discouraged at this time until weather conditions improve.
Additional information about the mobile home fire is provided in a news release from Western Taney County FPD Assistant Chief of Training James Lannan, as follows:
At approximately 3:03 p.m. WTCFPD units were dispatched to a residential structure fire at Wallace Road and Hwy 160. Multiple calls reported a well involved mobile home with persons possibly still inside. Chief 3 and Engine 102 arrived to find a single wide mobile home with heavy smoke showing throughout and an active fire at the rear of the home. An aggressive attack was made, but strong winds hampered efforts. Crews attempted to attack the interior but the floor of the home was unstable, and firefighters had to withdraw.
During this time neighbors informed firefighters that they had been in contact with the family and they were not at home and accounted for. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire was under control within thirty minutes, but crews had to perform extensive overhaul operations (searching for hidden fires). Firefighters used a water shuttle operation from WTCFPD Station 10 water storage tanks and the assistance of Southern Stone County fire. The fire caused traffic delays on Hwy 160 between Reed Spring and Highway 65 for about two hours.
No injuries were reported. The home is a total loss. The preliminary investigation determined the fire started on the exterior of the home and was caused by an outdoor wood burning furnace and improper disposal of ashes. The embers from the stove and ashes ignited extremely dry leaves and brush next to the home, and eventually the house. The Redcross is helping the displaced family. WTCFPD would like to thank Southern Stone County Fire, Taney County Ambulance, Taney County Sheriff, and the Missouri Highway Patrol for their Assistance.
WTCFPD would like to remind everyone to ensure your home exterior is cleared of brush and dry leaves. With extremely dry conditions outdoor burning is strongly discouraged. This is the second fire in two weeks caused by unattended burning products outside of a home. Please be cautious until we receive significant rainfall.
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