Trailer fire claims the lives of five
A mobile home fire in Shell Knob claimed the lives of two adults and three children early Saturday morning.
According to Rusty Rickard, fire chief of the Central Crossing Fire Protection District, his department received the fire call from 911 at 4:31 a.m. on the morning of May 16. Within three minutes, firefighters arrived at the home, which was located on North Hazelwood Street in the Turkey Mountain #2 subdivision.
"When we got there, the building was probably 75 to 80 percent on the ground," said Rickard. "The north end of the structure was partially standing, and we think the fire had been burning for awhile before we got the call. Those older trailer houses burn pretty fast."
After "knocking down the fire pretty quickly," firefighters went about the task of trying to determine if anyone was inside the home.
"We attempted to rescue them, but everyone we came across had already perished in the fire," said Rickard. "We think most of them were still sleeping."
The victims were identified as Robin Troncoso, 20, and her three children, Juan Jose Beltran, 3, Alechena Troncoso, 2, and Marcello Beltran, 7 months, all of the home, and Martin Williams, Jr., 22, of Cassville.
In all, 28 firefighters responded to the fire with nine trucks. The Central Crossing Fire Protection District serves a 130-square-mile area with seven stations serving portions of Barry and Stone counties.
The State Fire Marshal and the Stone County Sheriff's Office were called in to investigate the fire and the deaths.
"No one has determined the cause of the fire," said Rickard on Tuesday morning.
The fire chief said the deadly blaze was a tough one for his firefighters to handle. A critical incident stress management team will be coming to Shell Knob to meet with the firefighters.
"I think everyone is doing fairly well considering the circumstances, but we're going to do everything we can do to get them help if they need it," Rickard said.
According to Rickard, Central Crossing firefighters had not responded to a fatality fire since the 1970s.