Waterloo house destroyed by fire

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A house on Country Club Lane was consumed by fire just before midnight Saturday night. (Kermit Constantine photo)

A fully engulfed house fire left personnel from several area departments scrambling and a portion of Country Club Lane just past Waterloo city limits closed early Sunday morning.

A resident of 896 Country Club Lane, on the southern border of Waterloo, called 9-1-1 at 11:55 p.m. Saturday to report the home was on fire and the occupants were sheltering with their pets at a neighbor’s home.

Upon law enforcement arrival, the house was completely engulfed and small explosions could be heard coming from within the burning structure. When the Waterloo Fire Department arrived, the assistance of Columbia, Millstadt, Hecker, Valmeyer, Maeystown and Red Bud was requested for water and manpower. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and Monroe County EMS also assisted.

In further communication with law enforcement, the home’s owner indicated there was ammunition in the house as well as highly volatile acetylene gas and welding equipment in a nearby garage. Neighbors from two nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution. Waterloo Fire Chief Aaron Shive said Sunday that the ammo was not ignited during the blaze and popping noises heard on scene were most likely spray paint cans and gasoline containers exploding in the garage.

The cause of the fire is undetermined at this time, Shive said. The garage and roof of the residence were completely destroyed. The fire appears to have originated in the area of the patio and carport near the garage, he said.

No injuries were reported in the fire, which is not being considered suspicious in nature.

In addition to the residence, an SUV, pickup truck and lawn mower were damaged in the blaze, Shive said.

“I feel sorry for the people who lost their home,” he said.

The Monroe County Sheriff’s Department said the home belongs to Madeline Smith-Snodgrass.

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