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Fire destroys family home in Crystal Lakes

February 9, 2018 – Wood Heights Fire Protection District responded to a house fire on Wagon Wheel Rd. in Crystal Lakes, Tuesday, Feb. 6 around 8:40 p.m.

Upon arrival, the home was completely engulfed, and the homeowner was outside. Wood Heights Fire Chief Lee O’Dell said that the homeowner disclosed to fire crews that everyone was out of the home with the exception of family pets. No one was home at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported.

“Due to the progression of the fire before we received the 911 call, we were unable to save anything inside the house,” O’Dell said.

Fire crews from surrounding areas including Orrick, Lawson, Excelsior Springs and Fishing River battled the blaze in attempt to prevent it from spreading. The fire was under control around 9:30 p.m., and crews remained on scene until 11 p.m. Ray County deputies and Missouri State Highway Patrol also assisted at the scene as well.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and unknown at this time.

The homeowner, James Wilson, is a single father and disabled veteran with a daughter in elementary school. According to a GoFundMe set up for the family, Wilson was injured by fire during his 2004 deployment, and suffered third degree burns on the majority of his body. He retired from the Army in 2006 due to his injuries. Since then, he has devoted his life to his daughter, volunteering with  various veterans’ charities, and supporting his community.

Red Cross was called into assist the family with basic needs. In addition, Wood Heights Fire Department Auxiliary will be collecting donations from the community to help the family.

From Friday, Feb. 9 through Sunday, Feb. 11, donations will be accepted in two blue totes at the front door of the Wood Heights fire station.

Currently, the family is in need of men’s size large or 34×32 jeans, men’s size 9.5-10 in shoes, girl’s clothing in size 10/12 and girl’s shoes size 4-4.5.

Contact Auxiliary President Rachael Brown at 816-853-5666 if you wish to donate other items.

The family’s GoFundMe page hcan be found here.

By Standard Staff • StandardStaff@leaderpress.com

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