A shell of a house was all that remained after a devastating fire Wednesday evening, Aug. 5, in rural Page County.
The Clarinda Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched to 2378 270th Street, located approximately five miles east of Coin, at 4:30 p.m. after a passerby reported seeing smoke coming from the residence. Clarinda Fire Chief Roger Williams said the home was owned by Ladonna Potts.
“When we got on scene there were flames shooting out through the house,” Williams said.
The Coin Volunteer Fire Department was summoned to the blaze at the same as Clarinda. Soon after, the Braddyville and College Springs Volunteer Fire Departments were also called to provide mutual aid assistance. Clarinda Emergency Medical Services and the Page County Sheriff’s Department also responded to the house fire.
“During the day it’s hard to get people, so if you see a working fire you better call for help. Since we were out in the country, we knew we were going to need water and manpower,” Williams said.
Upon arriving on scene Williams said firefighters were told no one was home. A search confirmed the house was vacant at the time of the fire.
As crews worked to bring the house fire under control, a series of loud bangs were heard. Williams said the sound was caused by ammunition stored in the home going off due to the heat of the fire.
“We heard the popping going off. Once we could see in the house we thought that must be what the sound was. When the owner arrived she said there was ammo in the house,” Williams said.
Crews remained on scene until 7 p.m. Williams said foam was ultimately used to make sure the fire was fully extinguished. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but the house was declared a total loss.
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