Hillsboro home gutted by fire; father & son lose everything

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HILLSBORO, MO (KTVI) - Several firefighters stopped battling a blaze on Ridgecrest Drive and Cedar Drive in Hillsboro, Mo., to comfort a homeowner.

“He’s very upset, very distraught,” said Hillsboro Fire Chief Dave Scott.  “He’s lost everything.”

That homeowner ran up the street, yelling.  Firefighters were urging the man to slow down on the icy streets.  He still ran.  Then, he cried when he saw his family pictures, gifts, mementos, and his home already burned to the ground.  Scott said the department got the call around 3:15am Friday.

“The house was actually falling into the basement at that time,” the chief said.  “I live maybe about two minutes from here.  So, it got a pretty good start on us before we got here.”

He called for two alarms, which brought help from five surrounding departments.  Even the Festus Fire Department sent a truck and crew to cover one of the Hillsboro fire houses.  Scott says he needed the manpower for both the fire and the ice.

“We had to rotate crews out with the temperatures and the icy conditions,” he said.  “Get crews in, get crews out, get them hydrated, warmed up.  The streets out there become extremely icy just from the water from the trucks.  So, we’re bringing in lots of ice melt trying to keep the traction where the guys don’t fall.  All the way up to the fire, we’re putting it down.  No slips, no falls.”

There were also no injuries in the fire.  Scott said the homeowner lived with his son, who was away visiting relatives for the holidays.

“That’s awesome,” he said.  “Everybody goes home.  That’s the best thing.  These material things can be replaced.”

Scott said his department would team up with the Missouri State Fire Marshal, as normal procedure, to find a cause.

RELATED STORY: Firefighters concerned about bitter cold temperatures

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