Bullets heard going off as crews battled large fire at Union Co. - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Bullets heard going off as crews battled large fire at Union Co. hunting club

(Source: Nichole Cartmell, KFVS) (Source: Nichole Cartmell, KFVS)
(Source: Nichole Cartmell, KFVS) (Source: Nichole Cartmell, KFVS)
(Source: Nichole Cartmell, KFVS) (Source: Nichole Cartmell, KFVS)
(Source: Nichole Cartmell, KFVS) (Source: Nichole Cartmell, KFVS)
UNION COUNTY, IL (KFVS) -

The Arrowhead Lodge, a hunting club in Union County, Il., went up in flames Friday, Dec. 12.

It was a dangerous situation for firefighters.

Crews had to battle flames and ammunition.

"The whole downstairs was packed full of bullets and the upstairs there was a huge section was full of bullets but there's no telling how many thousands and thousands of bullets that went off in there," Nancy Fraley said, the mother-in-law of Randy Myers, owner of the Arrowhead Lodge.

Todd Harris, fire chief of the Ware-Wolflake Fire Protection District, says the fire started just after one.

Witnesses believe the fireplace is to blame.

The fire destroyed a family business and a lot of memories.

"It's really sad, it's heartbreaking," Fraley said.

You could hear the sound of bullets going off as the flames engulfed the home.

Fraley said it is that sound that underlines what these hunters will miss.

"Every year this is their life," Fraley said. "They really enjoy this. They play cards, play pool, they sit by the fire place. They enjoy everything. A guy just told me last night that he loves it here. He said even though I don't kill a duck, if I do, I do, if I don't' he said 'I love it here it's just a great time.'"

Fraley said the ammunition is replaceable, however, watching her son-in-law's life's work go up in flames is nearly indescribable.

"He has his heart and soul in this place and I have no words," Fraley said. "I have no words for him, my daughter, my grandaughter, they loved it. They hunted here this is a big part of their life and it's all gone."

Now, the family waits for their next shot to start over.

"From here on, we're just going to have to pull together and be strong," Fraley said.

Myers said the fire displaced about 32 hunters, all of which had traveled from all over to duck hunt this week.

Harris said the building is a complete loss.

Fire crews didn't leave the scene until a little after 5:30.

Harris said it took so long to put the fire out for two reasons: being a rural, volunteer fire department, and running out of water.

The owners of the business will eventually begin cleaning up.

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