Cape Girardeau County home severely damaged in Friday fire

Sunday, June 3, 2012
Firefighters attack the fire atop the home of Kevin and Diane Edwards Friday, June 1, 2012 off County Road 206 west of Cape Girardeau. The fire spread to the house from the garage. (Fred Lynch)

It took firefighters from numerous area departments several hours Friday to clear the scene of a fire that severely damaged a family's home in Cape Girardeau County.

The Cape Girardeau Fire Department received a report of a fire in a garage at 11:11 a.m., according to chief Rick Ennis. Crews responded to the home of Kevin and Diane Edwards at 564 County Road 206 and found the end of the house containing the garage fully involved.

No one was injured, but several firefighters received oxygen from paramedics on scene as they rotated in and out of battling the flames.

Fire blazes in the garage behind crews preparing to work at home of Kevin and Diane Edwards Friday, June 1, 2012 off County Road 206 west of Cape Girardeau. (Fred Lynch)

By 1 p.m., windy conditions pushed the flames through the roof of the length of the house. At one point, several firefighters became disoriented while they worked inside and made a mayday call. All were able to make it outside safely with the aid of other firefighters.

Ennis and Capt. Randy Morris of the Cape Girardeau Fire Department continued to call in crews from area departments to add to the six already on scene through 1:30 p.m. Ennis said additional crews were needed because the ones on scene were tiring quickly.

Ennis said the Edwards' teenage son was the only one at home when the fire began and made it outside safely after hearing a smoke detector sound. Diane Edwards said later Friday that her son opened the garage door and called the fire department when he saw smoke coming from inside.

The family has three children, including two who are students at Notre Dame Regional High School.

Brother David Migliorino, the school's principal, was among around 20 family members, friends and neighbors who came to the scene immediately Friday and offered assistance to the family or helped move outdoor items away from the house as thick black smoke billowed across the road and obscured the view of nearby homes.

"Seems like they get it out, and then, boom, the wind kicks it back up," Migliorino said as he watched a firefighter spray water at flames showing through the roof.

Friends and family members moved outdoor furniture away from the fire at the home of Kevin and Diane Edwards Friday, June 1, 2012 off County Road 206 west of Cape Girardeau. (Fred Lynch)

Ennis said crews had a difficult time extinguishing the fire because the house had been added on to several times and a roof built over another existing one.

Crews resorted to pumping water from a swimming pool on the house's north side and a pond on property adjacent to the house when tanks on water trucks emptied.

Ennis said the cause of the fire was undetermined, but that the state fire marshal would investigate.

Gordonville Fire District members were among nine area fire departments that responded to the home of Kevin and Diane Edwards Friday, June 1, 2012 off County Road 206 west of Cape Girardeau. (Fred Lynch)

Diane Edwards said Friday that the family would stay with friends and family.

"I am just glad the kids are OK and the firefighters are all OK," she said.

The fire damaged the house extensively. The roof caved in across most of the house, and in areas near the origin of the fire, several rooms, including the bedroom of one of the Edwards' daughters, was burned completely away.

Diane Edwards bought the property in 1985 and said that over the years she and her husband added space to the house as they began their family. When she first moved in, the house was around 1,300 square feet and had no working air conditioners, she said. With all the work the family put in since then, she said she couldn't imagine not rebuilding in the same place they had lived for the past 27 years.

"We'll get through it," she said. "We are 'doers.' We just do. That's how this will be, too."

The Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department closed a section of County Road 206 from the intersection of County Road 203 to Route K for most of the afternoon while crews worked.

Last to leave the scene Friday were members of the Gordonville Fire Protection District, who left around 4:30 p.m.

eragan@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

County Road 206, Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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