Call 911 - Central County Fire & Rescue

Call 911

Fire damage from residents not rapidly calling 911 on the rise in St. Charles County

It takes less than 30 seconds for a small fire to grow out of control, which means seconds matter in responding to a house fire. In the past week there have been three St. Charles house fires where residents delayed calling 911, thinking the situation was under control, or that they could handle the fire. As the fires became larger, residents did call, but the damage could have been limited by a quicker response.

“The safety of our residents is of the utmost importance, we don’t want anyone to hesitate to call. As soon an someone suspects a fire they should evacuate and call 911,” explains Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) Chief Russ Mason.

“Our goal is to minimize the damage done to a home or business during and after the extinguishment of a fire. We cover contents with tarps, ventilate the smoke and heat out of the home, and take every precaution to not do any additional damage that is not absolutely necessary to extinguish the fire,” says Chief Mason. “A quicker response by us results in less damage to homes.”

Of the three fires, CCFR responded to two. In the first fire, a resident had a stove fire, and called a family member before calling 911. In the second fire, a contractor accidently started a fire. The occupant thought the fire was extinguished and left the house. When the owner returned, he attempted to extinguish the fire alone. A passing park ranger alerted 911. The fire resulted in $35,000 in damages.

About Central County Fire & Rescue

The Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) District is one of the largest fire districts in Missouri, covering 72-square miles of St. Charles County, MO. A team of 82 firefighter/EMTs, fire inspectors and operational staff work together to keep the St. Peters and St. Charles, MO community safe. This well trained team operated six fire stations, seven days a week. A three member, citizen-elected Board of Directors, leads the District.

About Chief Russ Mason

In his 35-year fire service career Chief Russ Mason has responded to more than 2,000 fire related incidents, and determined the point of origin and cause of more than 900 fires. He has served as Chief of CCFR since 2003. He is the past President of the Professional Fire and Fraud Investigators Association of Missouri, and formerly served as the Deputy Chief and Chief Investigator in Charge of Criminal Investigation Unit for the Missouri Division of Fire Safety. He was one of ten national finalists for the 2012 Career Fire Chief of the Year.