Fire destroys home in northern Cape County

Thursday, December 22, 2005

A rural Altenburg family is safe after a fire destroyed their two-story home early Wednesday.

The North Cape County Fire Protection District arrived at the home of Larry and LaDonna Petzoldt, 3529 County Road 512 in Cape Girardeau County, at approximately 1:30 a.m.

"The fire was fully involved when we got there," fire chief Richard Oehl said. "It was an older home, so the fire took off as soon as it started."

Oehl said the fire started because of a faulty flue in the home's wood-burning furnace.

The Petzoldts have three children; at least one was in the home when the fire broke out.

"The owner's son said he heard something crackling and ran downstairs to tell his parents," Oehl said. "When the family went outside, everything was all lit up."

Fruitland Area Fire Department provided mutual aid to help fight the fire.

"It was a bad situation, losing everything before Christmas," Oehl said. "The fire was out of control when we got there, and everything was a complete loss."

No one was injured in the incident.

Larry Petzoldt is employed by the Jackson School District.

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