The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

January 25, 2014

Webb City home burns; wind spreads fire to neighboring homes

WEBB CITY, Mo. — A two-story house on Broadway was destroyed by a fire early Saturday morning, and two neighboring residences were severely damaged.

Smoke detectors alerted the occupants, who escaped without injury.

Jackie Clark, battalion chief at the Webb City Fire Department, said fire crews were dispatched to 817 W. Broadway just after midnight and saw flames coming from the home’s windows, doors and roof.

Clark said he has never seen a house in town burn to the ground in the more than 30 years he has been with the department.

By looking at the remains, Clark said, “People will not believe it was a two-story house.”

“The wind was a big, big factor,” he said, adding high winds probably caused the fire’s spread to neighboring homes.

Crews from Carthage, Carterville, Duenweg and Joplin assisted Webb City firefighters, and the flames were under control by about 1:30 a.m.

Clark said some crews remained on scene until 8:30 a.m. to make sure the fire was completely extinguished. Two outbuildings behind the homes were also damaged.

The cause has not yet been determined, Clark said, but it is not believed to be suspicious.

The home was owned by Carlos Rivera. An occupant, Michael Ballie, was awakened by smoke alarms. Clark said Ballie went downstairs, saw a fire in the kitchen and alerted the other occupants.

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