The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

June 27, 2012

Residents of historic home escape fire without injury

JOPLIN, Mo. — A daughter and her elderly mother escaped their burning house Wednesday morning after being alerted by a passer-by.

Keith Stammer, spokesman for the Joplin Fire Department, said the home in the 500 block of South Sergeant Avenue, which is in the historic Murphysburg residential district, was occupied by Imogene Runner and her daughter, Karol Holland.

Holland told department officials that a neighbor, who was driving to work, saw smoke coming from the eaves and roof of the two-story, frame structure. The man, who was not identified, banged on the front door, alerting Holland and her 91-year-old mother to the smoke, and then helped them escape.

Representatives of the American Red Cross were called to assist the family.

The fire was reported at 7:37 a.m. Fire crews arrived at 7:41 a.m. Firefighters attempted to enter the house when they arrived, but they were forced to pull back because of heavy smoke. The fire, which caused extensive damage to the house, was declared under control at 9:49 a.m.

Stammer said there were no injuries. Six vehicles and 21 firefighters were dispatched to the scene. The cause of the fire, which apparently started in the attic and then burned down into the second floor, is under investigation.

A survey of the house for the Murphysburg district shows that it was constructed for Levi Reisling in 1910. Reisling operated a hardware store and stove-manufacturing company at 221-223 Main St.

Murphysburg is the city’s oldest neighborhood.

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