SCOTT CITY -- An overloaded electrical system is believed to be what destroyed a house at 115 Washington Ave. in Scott City Wednesday morning.
State fire marshal Butch Amann is continuing his investigation into the cause of the fire, but Scott City fire chief Jay Cassout said it seems apparent that the cause was electrical.
"The house had 60 amp service," Cassout said. "With today's appliances a microwave will pull that much."
The fire began around 7:09 a.m. Wednesday; firefighters from Scott City, Cape Girardeau, and the New Hamburg/Benton/Commerce Fire District were on the scene until around noon, said deputy fire chief Billy Crump. Ambulance personnel were on the scene to assist firefighters.
The home's residents, Stacy Held, Josh Myers and Held's two children, ages 1 and 2 1/2, had just left home a few minutes before the fire broke out. With everything in the house destroyed, they were left with only the clothing on their backs.
Structure heavily damagedCrump said that the walls are still standing, but every room of the house was damaged. In some rooms the floor was burned through, and part of the roof caved in.
The fire spread quickly, Crump said. People who were driving to work could see it and were calling in the fire from cell phones. By the time firefighters arrived the fire was fully involved.
Heat from the fire melted the vinyl siding on the north wall of the house next door owned by Luis and Teri Ortiz, 119 WashingtonAve. Some windows on the second story of that house were broken from the heat and there was smoke damage in some of the rooms. No one was home there either.
Cassout said that the insurance company for Held and Myers has arranged for temporary shelter and is providing for them to buy clothing and other necessities for the family at Wal-Mart.