The Gravois Fire Protection District was dispatched to a natural cover fire at approximately 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 26. “A neighbor called saying they saw fire in the woods,” Gravois Fire Chief Ed Hancock said. “The wild-land fire company was dispatched to look for a possible natural cover fire with one tanker, and one brush truck. When they rolled up on the fire it was actually a significant structure fire,” Chief Hancock reported.
Since firefighters were dispatched to a natural cover they had the wrong equipment and it took a while to get other crews on the scene. “They didn’t have all the things needed to finish fighting a structure fire,” Chief Hancock said. “They had what they needed until the back-up arrived.”
When firefighters arrived they found heavy fire showing from the roof of a three story single family residence near the former Big Thunder Marina. The home is a seasonal home and the groundskeeper reported the owners were not at home, but they were planning to come to the lake this weekend. The house suffered significant damage.
According to Chief Hancock, the fire was contained by 7:30 p.m. and firefighters from the GFPD and the Mid County Fire Protection District will be conducting overhaul for several more hours into the evening. Overhaul is when firefighters go in and physically dismantle the house for the purpose of finding hidden hot spots of smoldering fires.
Mid County, Versailles Rural, and the Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District provided mutual aid in the initial attack. Sunrise Beach in-service firefighters were released early so that they could go back in-service in their own district.