BOIS D’ARC, Mo. – Neighbors in Bois D’arc will have to change where they pick up their mail after a fire broke out at the only post office in town Tuesday evening.
“When we arrived on scene, we just had smoke coming out of the eaves of the post office,” Willard Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Kevin Samsel said.
Multiple agencies assisted Bois D’Arc Fire Protection District to put out the flames, including Willard Fire Protection District.
“The post office there has a living quarters to one end,” Samsel said. “So we had to force entry into there to make sure that there was no one in those living quarters.”
Samsel said no one was hurt, but it took his team around two hours to help put out the flames.
“The original roof was shingles and had been re-shingled several times, and then a metal roof was put over the shingled roof,” Samsel said. “That makes for an area where fire can hide from us and we can’t necessarily access it quickly.”
The fire left behind heavy smoke and water damage, causing the post office to shut down.
“This was kind of a different even for us, a different kind of fire, because it was a federal post office,” Samsel said. “There’s a safe in there that they were concerned about. There’s all the mailboxes that they’re concerned about and just security of all that stuff. So when we opened the back door to ventilate, we opened the front end back doors to ventilate, we had to put people on both hands to make sure that no one else was going in or out.”
Now families in Bois D’Arc will have to drive to the Willard Post Office to get any specific packages or mail.
“My wife and I have gone to the Little Bois D’Arc Methodist Church just down the way, and I was accustomed coming here every Sunday and picking up the mail,” Dave Coonrod said. “So I’m not sure how we’re going to handle that.”
Coonrod said it would take him around 20 minutes one way to drive to Willard.
“There’s a lot of people live here and depend on the mail service here,” Coonrod said. “We’re concerned about the possibility that this may be its death knell, but I hope not. It’s really sad because the post office is really the centerpiece here in the community.”
The Greene County Sheriff’s Office does not believe the fire was set intentionally.