A house is a total loss after a fire broke out early Wednesday morning in the 400 block of North Grand Avenue with no injuries reported.
The Sedalia Fire Department fought their third structure fire of the week at 3:27 a.m. Wednesday, where they spent roughly four hours on scene and fought against strong winds.
The 911 call for the fire came in at 3:27 a.m., according to Sedalia Fire Chief Greg Harrell. Harrell said one of the sleeping occupants of the house woke up to the sound of “snapping and popping” and went outside where they saw the fire in the attic. The individual then re-entered the residence to get everyone out. All seven occupants were out of the house by the time SFD arrived on scene, according to an SFD press release.
The fire was declared under control at 5:19 a.m. with strong winds hampering firefighters’ efforts.
“The wind was a tremendous issue,” Harrell said. “They had two hand lines down and then they were operating a master stream from the elevated platform for quite some time. They were trying to get into the roof area where it had kind of collapsed and burnt in the center. Everybody was out of the house at the time of our arrival so it was pretty much a defensive fire operation that they were going through.”
Crews cleared the scene at roughly 8 a.m. after spending more than four hours on scene.
“They had to do a lot of overhaul this morning,” Harrell said. “The roof had collapsed in on itself and they had a lot of fire smoldering in between the shingles and stuff like that.”
Harrell said the fire is believed to have started in the attic and was above all the lower rooms. He pointed out the smoke detector SFD installed in the home last week was going off when firefighters arrived. Even after it melted it continued to “chirp” after the batteries had worn itself out later in the morning.
The fire department is providing one free smoke detector per residence. If a resident would like to get a smoke detector or needs help with one they are encouraged to contact the SFD at 660-826-8044 or stop by SFD Headquarters, 2606 W. 16th St., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The cause of the fire is listed as undetermined, according to Harrell, due to the extensive damage. The house is unsafe to be in due to its bad condition.
SFD crews later fought a small leaf fire near a home in the 3300 block of Woodlawn Drive around 11 a.m. Wednesday. It was contained and put out without incident.
The North Grand fire was the third structural fire SFD has fought in the last week with one late Friday night and one Saturday morning.
“We’re looking at numbers and this puts us at 14 (structure fires) since about the second week of October,” Harrell explained. “We have now broke 40 structure fires for the year. We are ahead by four of what the total was for last year and we still have the entire month of December ahead of us.”
Harrell said there was not a specific reason for the increase in structural fires this year.
“It’s just strange. We cannot pin any one thing,” he said. “We haven't had cold weather with an increase of heating issues or anything like that. It’s just we seem to have had a run of bad luck right now for things.”
During the Thanksgiving holiday, Harrell and other safety organizations are encouraging people to put safety first when they cook and decorate, especially when it comes to frying turkeys.
“People nationwide will set a lot of things on fire with frozen turkeys and deep fat fryers,” he explained. “We tend to run a call like that almost every year. With everything else going on we’re just hoping that people will be careful. It’s been a rough seven or eight weeks for the town and we’re just hoping everybody is watching out for themselves and are as careful as they can.”