December 9, 2004

Local Firemen Rush To Neighbor's Aid

The Scotland County Fire Department answered a mutual aid call from Lancaster when the south side of the city square caught fire.

Scotland County volunteer firemen were among the roughly 40 emergency workers that answered the call of a blaze that was quickly engulfing the south side of Lancaster city square. The fire was reported at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Friday, December 3.

The call quickly went out to surrounding fire departments to send equipment and firemen to help battle the blaze that was believed to have originated in the vacant building next to Semmyís Place on the Boardwalk on the southwest corner of the square.

The fire rapidly engulfed the vacant building and required firemen to utilize two ladder trucks to try to extinguish the billowing flames that began breaking through the roof.

The Scotland County Fire Department sent one fire truck and five firemen in response to the mutual aid call from the Lancaster Fire Department.

The blaze totally destroyed the building on the corner and extensively damaged the restaurant while causing smoke damage to nearly one dozen buildings on the south side of the square. The two most extensively damaged buildings belong to Terry and Ellen Decker.

A majority of the businesses on the square were evacuated as well as the Schuyler County Courthouse. Prisoners were evacuated from the jail and transported by the Schuyler County Sheriffís Department to the Scotland County Jail.

Firemen were on the scene well into the afternoon when the fire was brought under control. The Scotland County Fire Department returned to Memphis at approximately 3:00 p.m. after responding to the call at 11:00 a.m.

The fire is under investigation by the Missouri Fire Marshalís Office, but due to the unstable conditions of the building, there is no definite timetable for a finding.

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