Aurora mail truck burns, destroys mail

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

80 percent of Verona, McDowell, Jenkins residents' mail destroyed

Several Barry County residents did not receive their mail this week, due to an unusual occurrence.

Roger Smith, of McDowell, usually gets his Cassville Democrat newspaper on Thursdays, but it never came. Then a few days later, on Aug. 8, he received a letter from the U.S. Postal service explaining why.

According to the letter, written by Aurora Postmaster Jeffrey D. Bever and dated Aug. 7, an Aurora rural mail carrier's vehicle carrying the mail of rural Barry Countians from the Verona and McDowell areas was engulfed in flames and destroyed on Aug. 3, along with 80 percent of its mail contents.

Smith lives about 15 miles from Verona, and six miles from Purdy. Due to his and some either residents' rural locations, he receives mail from an Aurora carrier. The Jenkins area, for instance, has an Aurora zip code.

Bever could not be reached for comment to share additional details due to a continually busy line, but said in his letter the majority of the mail was unable to be salvaged and offers further instructions.

He offered a sincere apology for any inconvenience, and advised residents on the carrier's route who may have either sent mail or were expecting mail during the time frame of the incident, to contact the sender to inquire if it was received, offering for them to use the letter for validation of the possible reason for non receipt any missing documents.

"Every effort will be made to serve your future needs in a manner safe from damage or destruction consistent with your expectations and our standards," he said in the letter.

Lastly, residents were invited to contact Bever at 417-678-2370, or Consumer Affairs at 816-374-9186 with any further questions.

"It was just a coincidence that doesn't happen very often," Smith said. "I'm sure it was something mechanical."

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