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Fire destroys Morris trailer home Friday

Published: Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT
(Jessica Bourque –
A Morris home on Charles Road went up in flames Friday. No one was injured but the structure was deemed a total loss.
(Jessica Bourque –
Local firefighters work to put out a house fire for three hours Friday around 1 p.m.

MORRIS – More than eight local fire departments responded to a trailer home fire Friday at 1775 W. Charles Road in Morris.

No one was injured in the fire, but the family is missing a cat and the structure was deemed a total loss. The damaged is estimated at $50,000.

This was the first major house fire of the year in Morris.

“The high wind gusts really made it worse,” said Chief Tracey Steffes of Morris Fire Protection and Ambulance District. “It spread quickly from one end of the structure to the other.”

Firefighters from Morris, Coal City, Minooka, Dwight, Mazon, Wilmington, Braidwood, Gardner and other departments responded to the call at 1:02 p.m. Crews fought the fire for more than three hours.

Steffes said the cause of the fire is under investigation, but they are sure it was accidental. There were “combustible materials” near the wood stove, but Steffes said it is too soon to tell if that was the cause.

The home belonged to a local family, but only the father was home at the time of the fire. He was working outside of the home when the house went up in flames.

There were no fire hydrants near the home so the departments had to haul in their own water, Steffes said.

“We called multiple departments for mutual aid,” Steffes said.

With the wind gusts around 25 mph, Steffes said they also were worried the fire would blow into nearby structures including a garage that was about 50 feet from the burning home.

Firefighters worked on rotation for several hours in the freezing temperatures to prevent exhaustion.

“When the weather is this cold, it’s easy to get exhausted quickly,” Steffes said.

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