Fire partially destroys home near Shawneetown

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A blaze partially destroyed a North Cape Girardeau County home Tuesday that was over 100 years old.

The fire occurred shortly before 5 p.m., in the 300 block of County Road 514 in Shawneetown.

Early reports said someone may be trapped in the house, but firefighters who responded to the blaze quickly learned the house was empty, North County firefighters said at the scene.

The Fruitland Fire District was also dispatched as a mutual aid request, and assisted in fighting the fire, which had engulfed the structure.

A Jackson police officer who lives nearby was the first to notice the house was on fire, and immediately alerted area fire and emergency response teams, firefighters said.

Neal Dost, father-in-law of the homeowner, said the house, partially gutted in the blaze, was over 100 years old.

His father-in-law, Wayne Fritsche, purchased the house a few years ago, and Dost and other family members helped him renovate it.

"It was a quaint little house," Dost said.

Fritsche was not at home at the time of the fire because he'd gone fishing for the day, firefighters said.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

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