The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 16, 2013

Firefighters douse blaze inside wall; no injuries cited

— The Joplin Fire Department used thermal-imaging equipment Wednesday night to detect a hidden fire inside a residence.

Firefighters were called at 9:53 p.m. to the home of Ron Besendorfer in the 500 block of South Connor Avenue regarding a fire believed to have started beneath the house.

Keith Stammer, public information officer for the Fire Department, said firefighters did not see any fire or smoke upon arrival at the address, although they eventually noticed some smoke coming from roof vents and attic eaves.

The thermal-imaging equipment allowed them to pinpoint a hot spot in a kitchen wall, Stammer said. A section of sheet rock was removed and a burning section of siding was extinguished using a water can, he said. The cause of the fire is believed to have been a cigarette that an occupant had dropped into a space between the house and the back porch.

No injuries were reported. The Southwest Missouri chapter of the American Red Cross was called to assist the occupants in the wake of the fire.