By Wally Kennedy
JOPLIN, Mo. —
A faulty extension cord is the apparent cause of a fire Wednesday morning that destroyed the House of Bounce just north of Joplin and south of Airport Drive at 3684 N. Main St.
Bill Dunn, chief of the Carl Junction Fire Department, said a state fire investigator determined that the extension cord had shorted out. The cord was connected to a battery charger inside the building and to a riding lawn mower that was parked outside.
The short circuit, he said, caused an arc back to the plug-in, setting a wall on fire. The fire spread to the roof of the metal structure, which is owned by Brian Vediz.
“It made gobs and gobs of smoke,” Dunn said. “The fire damage ruined everything. It was a total loss.”
Dunn said the building’s metal framing survived the fire. The metal exterior, he said, will need to be replaced.
The House of Bounce had an inflatable play area inside that was used for children’s birthday parties. Jeff Moore, owner of the business, on Wednesday said he was trying to find a temporary space where inflatables not damaged by the fire could be set up for birthday parties scheduled for this weekend.
“If we don’t find a place, we’re going to have some ruined birthday parties,” he said. “Our goal is to eventually get back where we were.”
About one-third of the House of Bounce inflatables were in the building that caught fire, Moore said. The other inflatables were in storage in a nearby building.
THREE UNITS and 12 firefighters from the Carl Junction Fire Department were dispatched to the fire at 4:43 a.m. Wednesday. No injuries were reported.