Multiple departments responded to assist with fire on Bryan Street in Park Hills, according to Park Hills Fire Chief Brad Weiss.
Weiss said his department first received a report from a resident who reported a fully-engulfed house fire in their neighborhood at 11:51 p.m. Thursday.
“At about the same time, a Park Hills police officer was coming on duty and he also reported a large column of smoke and visible flame,” Weiss said. “He was en route to further investigate. So we really had two calls at about the same time.”
Upon arrival, the officer found the vacant residence in question to be burning steadily and growing in intensity in the short time before firefighters arrived on scene.
“Law enforcement arrived to find the house more than half-involved in the fire,” Weiss described. “When I arrived at 11:59, more than two-thirds of the house was involved and the rear half of the house had already collapsed. There was damage to the neighboring properties on both sides — both of them had sheds that were adjacent that received damage.”
Weiss said firefighters experienced a few difficulties in attacking the fire, but once those were overcome the responding departments got to work containing the fire.
“We were hampered because of a lack of manpower, which resulted in multiple departments not being able to respond,” Weiss said. “Secondarily, we had a hydrant that would not open. It was an older model hydrant that just would not open. Apart from that, the fire went well — there were no injuries, civilian or firefighters.”
By the time the fire was under control, Weiss said plenty of firefighters had responded and assisted.
“The house was a total loss when we arrived, but I’m happy with the way everybody worked,” Weiss said. “We had plenty of people there by the end and it was just taking the time to do it safely and get everything extinguished.”
Weiss said the scene was cleared at 3:25 a.m., after firefighters had been at the scene for approximately three and a half hours. In addition to the Park Hills Fire Department, the Leadington, Desloge, Farmington and Big River Fire departments responded to the scene, not to mention the assistance from the Park Hills Police Department.
“The Park Hills officers who were there helped a whole lot with helping to stretch our supply line and get our water supply established,” he said. “So we received a lot of help.”
While the Park Hills Fire Department was on the scene, the De Soto Rural Fire Protection District covered the Park Hills station and ran two calls during that time. While De Soto was on an extended call, the Potosi Fire Department covered for Park Hills and ran an additional call, making for a busy evening.
Weiss said the State Fire Marshal’s office was investigating the scene of the fire on Friday, but had made no statement regarding the cause of the fire.