Missouri State Fire marshal confirms Emerald Bay fire started by gas grill on 3rd floor

Lake Sun Leader

The Missouri State Fire Marshal’s office has confirmed that the fire that broke out at Emerald Bay Condominiums Tuesday night was started by an accidental gas grill explosion on the third floor.

Fire Chief Mark Amsinger sent out an official release Wednesday afternoon, it reads as follows: 

On June 16, 2020 at approximately 18:56, Lake Ozark Fire Protection District (LOFPD) units were dispatched to a reported structure fire at 278 Emerald Bay Dr., Emerald Bay Condominiums, off  Horseshoe Bend Parkway.  The responding Fire units and Battalion Chief from LOFPD Station 1 saw a large column of black smoke immediately when they left the station.  Upon arrival at the scene, fire units found a large four-story multi-family building with heavy fire through the roof of the structure.  Battalion Chief 1 immediately requested a second alarm. Initial LOFPD crews made entry into the structure to conduct a primary search of the condominium units to look for occupants and reported all units were clear with no occupants in danger.  Due to the severity and quick spread of the fire, a defensive operation was set up using master streams from LOFPD Aerial Ladder 21, LOFPD Fireboat 21, and multiple large diameter hand lines.  At approximately 20:54, the fire was placed under control and fire units switched to salvage and overhaul operations.  The Missouri State Fire Marshal’s office was contacted to investigate the fire.  After conducting the investigation, the Missouri State Fire Marshal’s office determined the fire started around a gas barbeque grill on the third-floor balcony and ruled its cause to be accidental.  Fire units remained on the scene until 01:28HRS on 06/17/20

There were over 50 firefighters and emergency service personnel on the scene.  the Lake Ozark Fire Protection District was assisted by the following agencies:

  • Osage Beach Fire Protection District

  • Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District

  • Mid-County Fire Protection District

  • Gravois Fire Protection District

  • Eldon Fire Department

  • Rocky Mount Fire Protection District

  • Cole County Fire Protection District

  • Moreau Fire Protection District

  • Jefferson City Fire Department

  • Miller County Ambulance District

  • Osage Beach Ambulance

  • Missouri State Fire Marshal’s Office

  • Camden County Sheriff Department

  • Missouri State Highway Patrol”

Amsinger says that a cat was also rescued from the scene. He says there may have been additional pet injuries that are unknown at this time.

Local resident Jeffery Pyle was present during the fire and says he was witness to the scene. 

“I live two buildings over. Lady in the complex next door (Highlands) saw the hose come off the lit grill and then the explosion. I don't know her name. She called 911 and knocked on doors. Possibly saved some people,” Pyle said.

Amsinger says he was proud of the quick and aggressive response the fire team made. With water being used to control the flame from all directions, he says they were able to keep it from spreading any further. Amsinger hopes that other lake residents will take this event as a warning to use grills properly and have them inspected for leaks or bad gas tubing before further use this summer. 

“You’d take your car to the shop to make sure the oil is good before a summer trip, do the same with a grill and make sure it’s ready,” Amsigner said.

Lake Sun Leader