Tecumseh home badly damaged in fire

Gainesville Volunteer Fire Department chief Ed Doiron, far left, cuts a hole in the roof of a Tecumseh-area home on March 10 to reach the fire burning between a layer of shingles and a metal roof. Lick Creek VFD chief Jerry Rowlett is standing, far right. Also pictured are LCVFD firefighters Frank Lang, second from right, and Logan Edwards, second from left. The fifth firefighter’s name isn’t known. Gainesville, Bakersfield and Lick Creek VFDs responded in mutual aid to Tecumseh VFD.

A double-wide manufactured home on County Road 530 near Tecumseh was damaged in a fire March 10. 

The call was first reported just before 7 p.m., according to the Ozark County Sheriff’s Department call log. 

Tecumseh Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched as the primary responder, with Bakersfield, Gainesville and Lick Creek VFDs responding in mutual aid. 

Tecumseh VFD assistant fire chief J.B. Duke, one of the first firefighters on the scene, told the Times the fire was contained in the rear of the trailer when he arrived.  

“It was hot through the back door,” Duke said. “We went in the back door and knocked the fire down, trying to keep it from spreading and get it under control.”

Duke said the fire spread to the ceiling and roof of the structure, making it much more difficult to reach due to a metal roof covering an already-existing layer of shingles. 

Once Gainesville and Bakersfield VFDs arrived on scene, the firefighters climbed to the home’s roof and cut a hole to help access the fire between the two layers. 

Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire after several hours of work. 

“It was still standing, but there was extensive fire damage to one end of the trailer,” Duke said. “The rest of the house has smoke and heat damage. It’ll be up to the insurance company and the owners to decide whether they call it a total loss or they want to repair it.”

Duke said the home was unoccupied.

“It was a rental house, and the renters who were in there hadn’t paid,” Duke said. “That day, the owners turned on the power and the heater. We assumed it was the heat exchange, but we’re not certain. The cause is unknown.”

Duke said the state fire marshal was called and responded to the scene. 

The fire was first called at 6:59 p.m. and Duke cleared the scene at 11:13 p.m. after meeting with the fire marshal.


Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423