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Eminence Area VFD building, fleet destroyed by Tues. morning fire


The Eminence community suffered a devastating blow Tuesday morning when a fire destroyed the Eminence Area Volunteer Fire Department (EAVFD) fire station, along with several trucks.

Officials from fire departments from as close as Birch Tree and as far as Wright City took to social media to express sympathies and support for the volunteer fire organization, as did Eminence Police Chief Steven Hogan and Missouri State Fire Marshal Tim Bean, an area native.

“Tragedy today for Eminence, the fire house has burned. It is a total loss,” said volunteers with Shannon County First Responders in a Facebook post made at about 8:30 a.m. Friday, expressing thanks to firefighters from Winona, Ellington, Summersville, Thayer and Timber for assisting the local firefighting crew in battling the blaze.

“Howell-Oregon Electric Cooperative handled the utilities and Mercy [Ambulance] and Eminence and Birch Tree First Responders stood by in case of injuries,” they added. “Thanks also to Rowden's [Express gas station] and Tim's [Bestway Foods grocery store] for donating water and coffee. Thanks to many other people in the community for many acts of kindness today and your prayers.” The post concluded with a warning that, at the time, the scene was still “very active,” and asked area residents to stay back.

A little more than two hours later, Bean expressed his sympathies in a Facebook post, noting that the fire was still active at that time.

“Devastating way to begin a day, Eminence Area Volunteer Fire Department lost [their] entire station and equipment this morning. Area fire departments are presently still working on extinguishing the fire,” he wrote. “They will need us to pull together for them in the weeks to come.”

Chief Hogan drove home in a post of his own just how devastating the loss caused by the fire is. “During my tenure of being a board member for the EAVFD, I learned how hard it was to reign in funding, not only to equip, but operating funds as well,” he said. “This will be a huge hardship for Eminence and the area our Fire Department serves.”

Hogan likewise expressed thanks to all those who reached out with kind words and supportive gestures, including Grant Wilson, a field representative for U.S. Rep. Jason Smith’s 8th District Office, who shared information about grant-funding resources; neighbors; and other area fire departments.

Officials had not indicated the cause of the fire or the full extent of the damage, including any injury reports, as of Tuesday afternoon. The Quill will share updates as they are made available.

Hogan encouraged anyone wishing to contribute financial donations toward helping the Eminence fire department rebuild to make out checks to Eminence Area Vol. Fire Department and mail to the department at P.O. Box 518, Eminence, MO 65466.