FORT OSAGE, Mo. (AP) - A 47-year-old assistant Fort Osage fire chief has died in crash on his way to a fire in rural Jackson County.
The Kansas City Star reports that Harold Hollingsworth, a 16-year veteran with Fort Osage, was driving to a fire during a severe thunderstorm Sunday night when his fire department SUV slid off the road and hit a tree.
Todd Farley, an assistant fire chief with the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District, say it's the first time a Fort Osage firefighter has died in the line of duty.
Fort Osage is a town of about 7,000 about 30 miles east of Kansas City. The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating.
Funeral arrangements were pending Monday.
A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information about last week's fire at the office.
Both state and federal fire investigators determined the blaze was arson.
Union police said the home was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters responded Friday night.
After extinguishing the blaze, firefighters found the bodies of the 24-year-old woman and her two children, ages 1 and 6. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that their names weren't immediately released.
The woman's 26-year-old husband wasn't home at the time of the fire. The cause of the blaze remains under investigation.
Flames could be seen shooting through the roof of the home by neighbors. Fox 2 reports three people got out safely. They are Annie Herrin, her daughter Courtney and her boyfriend, Paul Coopman. Coopman reportedly was awakened by an explosion coming from the garage and was able to get the women out safely. There's still no word on a cause but firefighters are not considering it a suspicious fire.
Fox 2 reports three months ago the family buried Annie's husband, 47-year-old Jimmy Herrin, died from pancreatic cancer. A trust fund for the family has been set up at US Bank in Troy, Illinois.
The Springfield News-Leader reports that Violet Watson is asking in excess of $25,000 in damages in the suit filed this month in Green County.
The March 2010 fire killed 7-year-old Alexis Watson, 5-year-old Kelsey Watson and 4-year-old Devin Watson. The children's grandfather was seriously injured.
Initially, Violet Watson's then-fiance was charged with setting the fire. But the charge was dropped after laboratory tests found no trace of an accelerant. The cause of the fire is listed as undetermined.
The lawsuit says the landlords failed to maintain a safe property for the home's residents. The suit says there were smoke alarm issues and that the house had "faulty wiring."
The blaze in the 11,000 block of Oak Forest Parkway Drive began a little before 2:30 Thursday morning.
At one point, flames could be seen shooting through the roof.
At least one resident and a firefighter have been injured. Both were taken to a hospital for treatment.
Dozens of people have been displaced from their homes.Witnesses tell Fox 2 news a man living on the second floor was shouting fire and that he'd fallen asleep while smoking a cigarette. Firefighters have not confirmed that as a cause.
Fire crews were called around 3:30 a.m. to a report of a dumpster fire next to the building. But it turned out to be an eight foot meat smoker that was attached to the restaurant and was on fire. Intense wind made it tough for firefighters to get a handle on the fire.
Crystal City police shut down Bailey Road at South Truman for traffic control. .
Ralls County and state investigators say three fires over the past four months at vacant homes in Saverton were intentionally set by youngsters. The Hannibal Courier-Post reports that the names and ages of the suspects, and the number of them, were not released.
The matter has been turned over to juvenile authorities.
Saverton is an unincorporated town of about 75 residents near Hannibal and about 100 miles north of St. Louis.