Fire destroys Shawneetown home - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Shawneetown, MO

Fire destroys Shawneetown home

By CJ Cassidy

SHAWNEETOWN, MO (KFVS) - Firefighters spent more than a couple of hours trying to get a fire that ripped through a Shawneetown, Missouri home under control.

No one was inside the home when the fire broke out, but the fire destroyed Wayne Fritsche's home.

Still, he and his family have a lot to be thankful for, and they are especially grateful to one of their young neighbors.

When Mark Dambach saw smoke billowing from his neighbors home, he didn't hesitate to act.

"I grabbed the fire extinguisher and ran up here.I kicked in the door 'cuz he'd been off for eye surgery. I come home earlier and saw him hanging out laundry, and I was afraid he was in the house," Dambach said.

Wayne Fritsche lived alone.

His son, Scott and other family members help remodeled the home three years ago.

Scott says for several tense minutes he had no idea what had happened to his father.

"The first phone call I got, I didn't know if my dad was in there or not," Scott said.

"I got on the phone and started calling got a hold of him, on his cell phone, we were very fortunate he wasn't insidse," said Neal Dost, Frithsche's son-in- law.

"He was actually fishing, and saw smoke from where he was fishing," Scott said.

Back at the burning home, Mark Dambach continued his search.

"I used my extinguisher as best I could, and seen if Fritsche was in the house, but it was so full of smoke I couldn't see. I only tried two times, got to where he sleeps wasn't in bed assumed he wasn't there," Damback said. 

But before he headed for safety, Dambach grabbed the one thing Fritsche's family says Wayne loved above everything else.  He grabbed a kennel with one of his dogs inside.

"In a small town like this, that's kind of what the neighbors do to help one another out," Dambach said.

Luckily Wayne Fritsche's home was insured.

Volunteer firefighters from North County and Fruitland worked together, and moved a couple of propane tanks near the house away from the flames to prevent an explosion.

So far, fire crews do not know what started the fire, but say the house itself was at least 100 years old.

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