Unsolved fires in Reynolds County: Victim talks about losses

"Look at all the damage it caused, and I'm not alone," said Curtis
"Look at all the damage it caused, and I'm not alone," said Curtis

REYNOLDS COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Fire crews Heartland wide are hoping for a quiet weekend after a wild week of fighting house and brush fires.

In Reynolds County, what sparked a fire more than 1,000 acres wide remains a mystery.

There is no word yet on whether it was an accident, or intentionally set.

"It is just ridiculous," said Bob Curtis II.

Curtis can only stand in the rubble in disgust.  "It's hard to imagine what all was here," said Curtis.

Fires started popping up all across Reynolds County Wednesday afternoon. Along Highway 21, days later, smoke is still rolling throughout the charred forest.

Bob Curtis' property is just off Highway 21.

"The RV's the only thing I was able to save," said Curtis.

He says he used 5 gallon buckets of water to keep the fire from spreading to the camper. It's where he and his wife are living while Bob works to build a new home on the property.

Down the hill from the RV is a shed that housed most of the couple's possessions.

"The wind was blowing in such a way that it blew the leaves on top of the building here and set it on fire," said Curtis.

He says it's where he and his wife kept 38 years of memories, plus building supplies for that new home.

"I had all the furnishings for the house including a refrigerator, stove, deep freeze, furnace, and heater." He says he also lost a number of musical instruments, including a piano.

"It got so hot it burned up my boat," said Curtis. "It's 38 years worth of collecting stuff, and it's all gone. Now I'm back to square one."

He says he also lost saddles, and equipment to care for his horses who were surrounded by fire at one point, but were not injured.

"Look at all the damage it caused, and I'm not alone," said Curtis.

Reynolds County authorities say six nearby homes were damaged or destroyed.

"It's just unreal," said Curtis.

Bob Curtis was not insured, because he says he technically does not have a permanent address.

He says that's because he has yet to lay the foundation for his home.

Meanwhile, we should learn more at the first of the week just how many acres caught on fire.

Authorities say most of the burned acres are considered conservation land.

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