The Springfield (MO) News-Leader reported a faulty fireplace caused a house fire, but a faulty fire hydrant may have caused a delay in putting it out. The fire started about 9:00am at 3800 W. Maplewood Street, near the border of Springfield and Battlefield. The house was under construction, and crews were using the fireplace to heat the home while they worked. The builder of the house identified a gap in the firebox that allowed flames to escape behind the firebox and caused the house to catch on fire. All crew members were evacuated safely from the home, which was about eight days from being completed. “Now it is more like 80 days,” said Clint Tackitt, the house’s owner and builder. “What should have been more chimney damage ended up being a substantial loss.”
“We had water supply issues at the closest hydrant,” said Dave Fisher, interim fire chief for the Battlefield Fire District. The home lies in unincorporated Greene County and falls within the Battlefield fire district. Fire crews from Battlefield, Republic, Nixa and Springfield responded to the blaze. Fisher said firefighters tried unsuccessfully to remove the cap from a hydrant 50 feet from the house so they could attach a hose. They eventually abandoned the closer hydrant and ran hoses to a hydrant about 200 yards aways.
Tackitt, said half the roof structure will have to be replaced, as well as air ducts, wiring and interior cosmetics. He estimated the damage at more than $80,000. “All could have been stopped if the hydrant was working.” Tackitt said. He also went on to say that he believed the Battlefield Fire Department did the best they could.
Dave Fisher said the house’s insulation- cellulose insulation made from recycled paper- kept the house from burning to the ground. “Without it, we would probably have lost the entire house,” he said.