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Firefighters battle fires early Thursday

Firefighters battle fires early Thursday

April 19th, 2019 by Jenny Gray and Helen Wilbers in Local News

<p>Helen Wilbers/FULTON SUN</p><p>The Callaway County Ambulance District&#8217;s new facility, still under construction at 2614 Fairway Drive in Fulton, burned Thursday morning. Firefighters also battled a blaze at a Millersburg business.</p>

Firefighters in Callaway County had a long night as two major structures burned early Thursday.

The Callaway County Ambulance District’s new headquarters is now a scorched ruin after a fire reported at 5:17 a.m. Thursday. The cause was determined to be accidental, fire officials said.

The building, at 2614 Fairway Drive in Fulton adjacent to the Tanglewood Golf Course, was unoccupied and no injuries were reported. Thursday morning, a Missouri fire marshal was on scene to determine the fire’s cause.

“We have to … figure out what the next steps are,” CCAD director Charles Anderson said. “My guess is we’ll have to tear it all down and start over.”

The facility was under construction. Anderson said the ambulance district was hoping to move in October or November. Both the ambulance district and the construction contractor had insured the project, he added.

“The building was unoccupied, no one was hurt and services were unaffected,” Anderson said. “It could’ve been a lot worse. … In the grand scheme of things, this is a setback.”

He recalled a 2002 fire at the current station on Hickman Avenue which destroyed four ambulances.

Fulton Fire Chief Kevin Coffelt reported that upon arrival of the first engine company, heavy smoke was showing from roof of the one-story structure with a walk-out basement. Fire progressed and ventilated through the roof shortly after arrival.

Fire crews entered the structure for fire attack and were forced to evacuate the structure due to the danger of a roof collapse. Crews were able to bring the fire under control in about two hours with exterior fire attack operations.

The Fulton Fire Department, Central Callaway Fire Protection District, Holts Summit Fire Protection District and South Callaway Fire Protection District all responded to the scene Thursday.

Russ Automotive

Multiple fire agencies also battled a second large fire in west Callaway County early Thursday.

The fire broke out at Russ Automotive, at 2323 County Road 228, east of Millersburg. The building was considered a total loss. No firefighters or civilians were hurt in the fire, Chief Larry Curtis, of the Millersburg Fire Protection District, said.

He said he was told a newspaper carrier reported the fire to a resident, who reported the fire to authorities.

“There was a 20-minute delay,” Curtis said of their notice at 3:39 a.m. “The shop was already on the ground when we got there.”

Curtis said the building was 100-by-285 feet.

“We don’t have a cause determination yet,” he said. “We were on the scene until about an hour ago (9 a.m. Thursday).

Fire agencies from Millersburg and Boone and Callaway counties were on the scene working to put out the fire.

“We had one of Fulton’s trucks out there and I turned them loose when the report of the other fire came in,” Curtis said of the fire at the Callaway ambulance barn.

A person at Russ Automotive did not offer a comment.

A third, unrelated fire was reported Monday evening. A Denny’s location in Kingdom City had a small roof fire, the North Callaway Fire Protection District stated. The fire was reported quickly and staff and customers evacuated without incident. Minimal damage was done to the structure.