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Thirteen fire departments work together to extinguish fire

Thirteen area fire departments, and a total of 60 personnel, were dispatched to a house fire  in Bonne Terre on Saturday morning.

The Big River-Bonne Terre Fire Department responded to the call at 117 Middle St. at 8:16 a.m. According to Big River-Bonne Terre Fire Chief David Pratte, the fire was difficult due to multiple remodels to the building. 

Pratte said it was hard to get through to the fire and the metal roof made the interior feel like an oven. He added that additional crews were called in from other departments to provide more manpower. He said due to the high temperatures, firefighters could only stay inside for short amounts of time.

“It took a tremendous amount of labor,” Pratte said. “A huge amount of water was being used to contain the fire.”

Pratte said two adults and four pets were in the building at the time of the fire. 

“We removed the adults and we started to get the cats out,” Pratte said.

As of Saturday afternoon the cause of the fire was under investigation, but Pratte suspected electrical issues. The building was thought to be a total loss.

Traffic was diverted on Middle Street, Twin Street and cross streets while crews battled the fire.

“I would like to thank all the mutual aid fire departments that came to help,” Pratte said. “With the diligence and professionalism of the volunteer fire departments the fire was contained to that structure without any injuries.”

Assisting Big River-Bonne Terre were departments from Hematite, Jefferson R-7, Irondale, Festus, DeSoto Rural, DeSoto City, Desloge, Farmington, Terre Du Lac, Leadwood, Leadington and Park Hills.

In addition to firefighters, crews from Ameren, Bonne Terre Water Department, Bonne Terre Police Department and St. Francios County EMS were also on the scene.

Pratte said that additional pumpers and tankers from other departments were put on standby to handle any other calls in the rest of the county.

A house fire on Saturday morning in Bonne Terre involved two adults and four pets. Firefighters removed the four cats from the burning building, reuniting them with their owners.

A house fire on Saturday morning in Bonne Terre involved two adults and four pets. Firefighters removed the four cats from the burning building, reuniting them with their owners.

Crews from 13 fire departments respond to a house fire around 8 a.m. Saturday morning on Middle Street in Bonne Terre.

Crews from 13 fire departments respond to a house fire around 8 a.m. Saturday morning on Middle Street in Bonne Terre.

Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

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