UPDATE: The victim of the fire on Range Lane Road in the Sunrise Beach area on July 4, 2018 was Joseph Anthony Menzel, 52, of Sunrise Beach.
One of the occupants who escaped a house fire Wednesday afternoon later passed away after suffering respiratory difficulties following the incident.
According to a press release from the Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District, they were alerted to a house fire at 98 Range Lane at 2:26 p.m. July 4, 2018. Sunrise Beach firefighters arrived on scene in six minutes and found a single-family house well involved in fire.
The occupants had been able to evacuate under their own power, the press release stated, but one of the occupants began to complain of respiratory difficulty. That person was transported by Lake West Ambulance to Lake Regional Hospital where the victim succumbed to their injuries.
In a social media post, the SBFPD also expressed condolences to the family.
The house was located at the top of a steep driveway in an area where there was not a fire hydrant readily available, according to the press release.
“The heat definitely made our job tougher. Yesterday was one of the hottest days of the summer and we needed to bring back off-duty personnel, our volunteer member responded, and we used units from Mid County, Northwest, Osage Beach and Gravois fire protection districts to assist in the operations,” said Sunrise Beach Fire Chief Dennis Reilly. “During this incident we also responded to multiple medical calls and a drowning incident was also in progress on the other side of the lake. Holidays are a very busy time for the all local fire districts and we were fortunate yesterday to be at full staff.”
The initial investigation indicates the fire was accidental. As is normal procedure, the Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District is working in conjunction with the State Fire Marshal’s office to determine the cause. At request of the family the name of the victim will not be released until tomorrow morning.
The SBFPD covers more than 60 square miles on and around Lake of the Ozarks in northern Camden and southern Morgan counties. The district has two staffed stations and 17 full-time firefighters. The district responds to more than 700 emergency calls annually including medical and injury incidents.