Western Taney County Fire Protection District firefighters responded to a report of a flue fire at 4:35 a.m. Feb. 18 in Hollister.
The call came amidst what had already been a busy time for fire agencies in and around Taney county. Volunteers from Western Taney County stations 1, 4, 5 and 12 responded to a residence on Briarcliff Avenue, according to Western Taney County Fire Protection District Chief Chris Berndt.
”We have a pretty busy night with some fire alarms, sprinkler pipes breaking, and carbon dioxide incidents. We had a little of everything but then at 4:35 a.m. we responded to a flue fire. This was initially dispatched as a flue fire, that doesn’t give us quite as many trucks as a house fire would. While responding it became evident that it must be a house fire because the residents reported the wall to be on fire.”
Berndt said that when they arrived they found a log house with a rock fireplace.
“The fire clearly had breached into the wall,” Berndt said. “The wall was on fire so we had to search through and find where the fire was. We found it directly above the fireplace behind the rock. We ended up having to break out the rock fireplace to gain access to the fire. Quite a bit of fire had extended up the wall. We had to open up the exterior of the wall to get to the rest of the extension that had spread up toward the attic. We were able to open that up so we could finally extinguish the rest of the fire.”
Once everything was exposed Berndt said, the extinguishment of the fire was relatively simple.
“It was a lot of work to break out big chunks of that fireplace. To just open up it all up, the exterior wall and the fireplace was quite an undertaking but we got all that done and got the fire extinguished,“ said Berndt. “And of course it was about 17 degrees out with snow on the ground so everything you do is just more difficult. But we got all of that accomplished. It worked well and we cleared the scene about an hour and a half later. There were no injuries.”
According to Berndt, the firefighters faced some challenges due to weather conditions. “The temperatures are hard on our equipment, its hard on our own personnel. In such cold weather it’s hard for them to work, especially long periods of time. And any water that gets spilled immediately freezes and makes an ice skating ring. There are then more hazards of falling and those kind of issues.”
At approximately 6 a.m., the fire was extinguished.