Electrical problem starts fire in Holts Summit home

Some sort of electrical malfunction is being ruled as the cause of a fire that damaged a mobile home at 1 a.m. Saturday in Holts Summit.

Ben McKee, who lived at Lot 52 at J&L Mobile Home Park, was able to escape from the fire uninjured. McKee and neighbors reported the fire to the Holts Summit Fire Protection District.

Gary Berendzen, deputy chief of the Holts Summit Fire Protection District, said the fire was confined to the back of the mobile home. “About two-thirds of the front of the residence sustained only smoke damage. We were able to save a lot of the contents,” Berendzen said.

Berendzen said the fire was brought under control in about 35 minutes. He estimated damage to the structure between $20,000 and $25,000.

Alan Wehmeyer, assistant chief, said the fire was caused by an undetermined electrical malfunction from under the residence. “McKee said a breaker was tripped by the electrical malfunction,” Wehmeyer said.

The Holts Summit Fire Protection District responded to the fire and were assisted by the New Bloomfield Fire Protection District.

“We had a total of eight fire trucks and from 25 to 30 volunteer firefighters who responded to bring the fire under control quickly,” Berendzen said.

Phillip Iman, emergency services director of the Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, said chapter volunteers offered temporary housing services to McKee but he needed no services because he was moving temporarily to another mobile home nearby while his home is repaired. McKee also declined offers to help with food and clothing, Iman said.


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