Family loses possessions in mobile home fire

Saturday, July 21, 2018
Firefighters looked for hot spots in the remains of a fire at the Marcus Cotton home in rural Purdy on Thursday after dousing a blaze that destroyed the structure. Murray Bishoff/times-news@monett-times.com

Source of rural Purdy blaze remains undetermined

A rural Purdy family lost their mobile home and all of their belongings in a fire shortly around 2 p.m. on Thursday.

Purdy and Butterfield firefighters responded to the Marcus Cotton home at 10285 Farm Road 1120 following a 911 call to the Monett dispatch center at 2:13 p.m. According to Fire Chief Nick Mercer, the home was three-quarters engulfed by the time firefighters arrived, Mercer assessed the home as a total loss.

Cotton, his wife and three-year-old child were at a neighbor’s home when the call arrived. Firemen traced the fire to the rear center of the older mobile home, but were not able to cite its source.

The home was located approximately six miles southeast of Purdy in a heavily wooded area. Firefighters for the Purdy Fire District were in the station at the time and able to respond immediately. The home was located next to the border with the Butterfield Fire Department. Both responded with jumpers, tankers and brush trucks.

“Since we’re in a burn ban, it will be protocol to take a brush truck to all fires, because of the potential for a grass fire,” Mercer said. “A grass fire could have run for miles if we didn’t get it stopped.”

A spokesman for the Butterfield firefighters equated a mobile home fire with a burning cedar tree as nearly impossible to stop. Mike Bennett, former Purdy Fire District chief, said firefighters could have perhaps saved half of a home on a similar fire inside the Purdy city limits by being able to reach it faster, under the best circumstances.

The Red Cross was called to provide assistance for the family, Mercer said. Barry-Lawrence Ambulance was also sent to the scene on stand-by.

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