More details released about fatal structure fire at Sunset Village of the Ozarks

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This photo is courtesy of the Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District.

ST. ROBERT, Mo. — The Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District has released more details on how the fatal structure fire was put out at Sunset Village of the Ozarks, on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021.

Around 12:35 a.m., the Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District, along with other fire departments, responded to a structure fire at Sunset Village of the Ozarks in Pulaski County.

When crews arrived on the scene they found heavy flames going through the roof of the apartment building.

Due to the fire involvement, the need for manpower and water supply, the command on the scene called for assistance from all Pulaski, Phelps and Laclede County fire departments.

During the rescue, operation crews had to evacuate due to the building condition deteriorating because of the fire in the building. Not long after they left the building, the entire floor they were on was consumed by fire.

Efforts to put out the fire were hindered by the winter weather which caused the water supply to freeze and threatened exposure injuries to responding personnel. And, since the water froze in the pipes and hoses several of the fire department’s apparatus and equipment were damaged.

Though, fire crews were able to stop the fire from spreading to the part of the building that was previously used as a health care facility.

The fire was brought under control around 6:30 a.m.

After the fire was put out several agencies worked to find all tenants of the building. Many had left the area to find warmth and were initially unaccounted for, for many hours.

One person was later found dead inside of the building. Another person also was hospitalized with smoke inhalation injuries, according to the Fire Protection District. One firefighter was transported and released due to a minor injury while several firefighters received frostbite injures, though none were severe.

The Missouri State Fire Marshall’s Office found through interviews, the fire was caused accidentally by cooking in one of the apartments. The structure is considered a total loss.

Fire fighters and fire investigators cleared the scene at 2:35 p.m.

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