2 die in Washburn fire

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Fire Chief: ‘Marshal says cause likely to remain undetermined’

Two people died early Tuesday morning in a fire that destroyed a double-wide trailer near Washburn.

Elijah Moore, 23, of Washburn, and Antonio Moore-Martinez, 4, of Cassville, died after the blaze caused the mobile home to collapse, according to Danny Dalton, Washburn Volunteer Fire Department chief.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with expenses. People may donate here: https://tinyurl.com/sxryqbh.

According to his obituary, Moore-Martinez loved being outside, playing in puddles, dirt and rocks with his sissy. His red boots made him super-fast. He was smart, kind, loving and always wanted to know if he was a good boy.

Moore-Martinez loved going to church with Abue. He always wanted to help work on dad’s car, wanting to fix it. Every night before bed he always made sure to give his sister a kiss.

Moore grew up in Washburn and attended school at Southwest. He always liked to take care of his friends and family. He enjoyed good food and was always smiling and laughing. One of his favorite pastimes was watching WWE wrestling.

Visitations for Moore and Moore-Martinez will be held from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, with a moment of prayer by Brooks Moore at 3 p.m. at Fohn Funeral Home in Cassville. The family requests that everyone wear something red in memory of Moore-Martinez.

Dalton said crews were toned out to the blaze about a quarter-mile off Highway UU at 4:14 a.m. He said he arrived on scene with the department’s engine about 20-25 minutes later to find the trailer fully engulfed and the roof caving in on the south side. An earlier report said the response time was 40 minutes, which Dalton said was incorrect due to an email miscommunication with E-9-1-1 that cause the on-scene time to be logged incorrectly.

Two adults, a male and a female, were transported to Mercy Hospital in Springfield after getting out of the home. Dalton said the male has been released, and the female is still receiving care.

“It went up pretty quick,” Dalton said. “Two Barry County Sheriff’s Office deputies were on the scene before us. It was also raining pretty hard [and that affected the response and approach].

“We got it knocked down after about two hours and cleared the scene at about 10 a.m. We had to assist the fire marshal in locating the two that perished. The two who survived were able to get out of the house and go to the neighbor’s, and that’s who called 911.”

Dalton said the fire marshals on scene said due to the high heat from the blaze, it is likely the cause will remain undetermined.

Washburn received mutual aid from the Exeter, Cassville and Seligman fire departments.

The child is a student at Cassville Primary School, prompting a special message from Principal Catherine Weaver.

“Parents, it is with a heavy heart that I share with you that we lost one of our preschoolers this morning in a house fire,” she said in a letter posted on the school’s website and district’s Facebook page. “Due to the tender age of these children we are leaving it to you to share this loss with your child. If needed we have counselors available to visit with you and your child.”

Suggestions in the letter about how to talk to children about grief issues may be found at: https://tinyurl.com/s8hemc9.

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