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House Fires Keep Firemen On the Go

The Ava City Fire Department was dispatched early Wednesday morning to a structure fire east of the downtown that resulted in major damage to the frame home.

The fire, in the 700 block of NE 2nd Ave., was noticed by a passer-by and the fire department was called just before 4 a.m. The first units on scene said fire was shooting from the front of the house.

After the fire was extinguished it was determined that the occupant, Kathy Watson, was not home.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by the Missouri Fire Marshal’s Office and the Ava Police Department.

Major fire damage was mainly in the living room and a front bedroom, although the entire structure sustained heavy damage from heat, smoke and water.

With temperatures in the low teens, firemen, who remained on the scene until after daybreak, not only had to deal with the fire but also had to contend with icing conditions on the ground, ladders, and fire tools.

Personnel from Ava Rural Fire Department and Goodhope Fire Department provided additional manpower to assist with the blaze.

Squires Volunteer Fire Department responded to a structure fire on County Road 305 last Saturday night that resulted in the total loss of a house that was believed to be vacant.

A spokesman for the fire department said apparently no one had lived in the house for a few weeks.

In addition to the structure that burned, there were two other trailer houses, both apparently vacant, on the property which is located just off  Douglas County Route P near the Girdner Church.

Trina Bricker, of Squires Fire Department, said the name on the mailbox was Laverne Isaacs.

The Missouri Fire Marshal’s Office was called to investigate the fire.

Goodhope Fire Department responded to a blaze during the early morning hours Jan. 7 that destroyed the Rick Huff home.

Located near the end of Douglas County Route KK west of Ava, the home was totally involved and beginning to fall in when the fire department arrived.

Fire Chief Richard Mitchell said Goodhope Fire Department received the fire call at 1:45 a.m. and the first unit was on scene at 2:09 a.m.

Mitchell said he was told Huff arrived home and found his house on fire around 12:30 a.m. According to Mitchell, the initial call went in to 911 from a cell phone. Since Douglas County does not have a 911 system, and with the call being made from a cell phone, “There’s no telling where the call went to,” Mitchell said.

When the first call reached Goodhope, Mitchell said the department was only told it was at the end of KK Highway, and no name was given. He said the first responding unit drove past the fire before they got a name and a better location.

Ava Rural Fire Department responded with two tankers of water to assist Goodhope with that fire.

Because Douglas County is not served by a 911 system, emergency calls of this nature should be made to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Dept. at 683-1020, or directly to the fire department in your area.

Mitchell said Goodhope has responded to several other structure fires since the first of the year.

A fire at an abandoned house on Route O is still under investigation, and a fire at the Marlin Loftis residence on Highway T resulted in a total loss.

The Goodhope Fire Department also responded recently to a fire at the John Gossen residence on O Highway that resulted in damage to a back bedroom.]