The fire moved fast, being pushed through the structure with 30 to 40 mph wind gusts behind it. With occupants unaccounted for, firefighters went into the structure, Hancock said, but they were driven back as fire rolled over the top and breached the ceilings.

It appears strong wind gusts contributed to the severity of a residential fire in Laurie Tuesday evening.

The home at 110 Watson Circle, located on Indian Rock Golf Course, received heavy damage, and is basically a total loss though the family may be able to salvage some personal items, according to Gravois Fire Chief Ed Hancock. Though the walls were still standing, the roof and contents are gone.

The Gravois Fire Protection District was dispatched at 5:20 p.m. March 6, 2018 to an initial report of a structure fully involved in fire.

Upon arrival, firefighters found the building to be around 50 percent involved, Hancock said.

The fire moved fast, being pushed through the structure with 30 to 40 mph wind gusts behind it. The unexpected driving snow also made for challenging conditions.

With occupants unaccounted for, firefighters went into the structure, Hancock said, but they were driven back as fire rolled over the top and breached the ceilings. Withdrawing, they checked bedrooms from exterior windows.

Firefighters found a small dog in a bathroom and were able to get it, but the animal had not survived.

No one was at home, and firefighters went into defensive operations until they got the fire knocked down, Hancock said. 

With the strength of the wind, there was concern about the fire moving to houses on either side and spreading through the neighborhood.

Sunrise Beach Fire provided mutual aid while Versailles Rural Fire covered the district, responding to one call in the Gravois district during the incident.

Crews had the fire under control by 9:53 p.m. The fire investigator was on scene until around 1 a.m. Wednesday. 

While it appears to be accidental at this time, the state fire marshal’s office is still investigating the cause.

According to Hancock, the point of origin was a porch area on the rear of the structure.