News Archives - Central County Fire & Rescue

Fireplace Ashes Likely Sparked House Fire

Delaware Drive House Fire

Firefighters Remind Residents To Properly Dispose of Ashes

When Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) firefighters arrived on the scene of a house fire in the 2200 block of Delaware Drive in unincorporated St. Charles County around 6:50 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 26, they found the rear of the home and the deck engulfed in flames. After the flames were extinguished, CCFR fire investigators discovered that fireplace ashes had been placed in a cardboard box on the deck, near the home that evening. These ashes sparked the fire, which caused more than $50,000 in damage to the home.

“Even though the ashes had cooled for nearly 24-hours in the fireplace, there was still enough heat to ignite the box, which led to the house fire. We have witnessed ashes as old as three days start fires like these, which is why it is so important to dispose of fireplace ashes in a metal container that is stored at least six-feet away from the home and deck,” said CCFR Assistant Chief Steve Brown.

On the night of the fire, a teenager who lives in the home smelled smoke, and heard crackling from outside. The family discovered the fire, quickly exited and called 911.

CCFR firefighters were assisted by the Cottleville Fire Protection District, the City of St. Charles Fire Department and the St. Charles County Ambulance District. There were no injuries.

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Fireplace Safety

Unattended Candle Causes St. Peters Condo Fire

October 25 interior photo of condo fire


A candle left burning after a St. Peters resident went to bed resulted in a condominium fire in St. Peters on Thursday evening. The resident escaped, but was transported to a local hospital for smoke inhalation treatment. It is estimated there is $100,000 in fire and water damage to the home in the 300 block of Devonshire Court in St. Peters, Missouri.

“We’re heading into the holiday season, when we see a spike in candle fires. It is easy to get busy and forget a candle is burning, this is why we strongly recommend our residents only use battery operated candles. There is no reason to have the dangers of an open flame as decoration,” said Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) Assistant Chief Steve Brown.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are an average of 23 home candle fires every day in the United States. Falling asleep is a factor in more than 10% of these home candle fires and 21% of the associated deaths.

CCFR responded to the fire at around 10:15 p.m. and discovered a fire in the finished lower level of the two story condominium complex. After the occupant escaped they notified the firefighters that there were still three cats inside the unit.

“Firefighters made an aggressive interior attack but were met with a large amount of fire blowing up the stairs out of the basement. They located the three cats, none of which were breathing as they were brought out of the home. The crews were able to resuscitate one, but unfortunately the other two passed away from their injuries,” said Brown.

It took fire crews from CCFR and the Cottleville Fire Protection District around 15 minutes to extinguish the fire. St. Charles County Ambulance provided medical care on the scene and the CCFR Community Assistance Program REHAB-95 provided assistance to the resident and first responders on the scene.

CCFR fire investigators completed a thorough examination of the scene and interview with the resident and confirmed that the fire was started by a candle that was unprotected and left burning. Adjoining condominium units did have slight smoke intrusion, but no fire damage that prevented the occupants from remaining in the homes after the incident.


Firefighter Suffers Minor Injuries in Warehouse Fire

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Two CCFR firefighters fell into a water and debris filled maintenance pit while fighting a fire inside Hackmann Brothers, a heating oil supplier at 2929 North St. Peters Pkwy. around 3:45 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. 

One firefighter escaped the building on his own without injuries, while the other required help from the crews on scene to leave the building. The injured firefighter spent the morning at the hospital before being released with minor injuries. 

Due to the nature of the business, there were petroleum-based products inside the building, which raised concern about a hazardous materials situation. There was no release of hazardous materials found. Residents may have smelled an odor during and after the fire. This is common with building fires, and was not related to chemicals or products stored in the building. 

The 30 feet by 40 feet metal maintenance shed was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Inside the shed there was a 5-6 foot deep maintenance pit built into the floor.

“The crew did not know the pit was there, and it almost caused a tragic situation. We had an intense few minutes after we received a mayday call from inside the burning shed, but thankfully it looks like everyone will be okay,” Brown says.

Firefighters from CCFR, the Cottleville Fire Protection District and St. Charles City Fire Department were able to extinguish the fire in approximately 45 minutes. A woman who lives in a house on the property escaped safely, and the home was not seriously damaged. CCFR fire investigators are investigating what sparked the blaze. 

“When we get a call, we never know what we are getting into. It’s situations like these that remind us all about the importance of our daily training to keep our community and our fellow firefighters safe. The team knew exactly what to do when that mayday was sounded and stepped into action to save their fellow crew members,” Brown says.  


CCFR Lowers Tax Rate By 5%

Property values are rising, which often results in higher property taxes for many residents. To help reduce this burden, Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) voted to reduce its general revenue tax rate by 5.5% for 2019. This will result in a savings of approximately $21 a year for the owner of a $200,000 home. 

Continue reading “CCFR Lowers Tax Rate By 5%”

Fire Prevention Week: A History

Fire Prevention Week has been observed in the United States for nearly 100 years to commemorate the horrific Great Chicago Fire, which started Oct. 8, 1871 and killed more than 250 people and left 100,000 people homeless. Each year during the week of Oct. 9, children, adults and teachers nationwide learn how to stay safe in a fire.

Within CCFR, Fire Prevention Week is observed throughout October. When crews are not responding to an emergency situation, their efforts go toward educating the community about fire prevention. CCFR has developed a special curriculum that is delivered to students at every school in the area; crew members also attend community events and provide fire prevention training to high-hazard properties in the area.

Tax Rate Reduced By 5%

Property values are rising, which often results in higher property taxes for many residents. To help reduce this burden, the Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) Board of Directors voted to reduce its general revenue tax rate by 5.5% for 2019. This will result in a savings of around $21 a year for the owner of a $200,000 home.

“Fiscal responsibility and being good stewards of the funding our community provides is critically important to our fire district. When we learned that an increase in area property values meant we could reduce our overall tax rate and continue providing the high quality emergency services our residents expect, we knew that this was the right decision to make. ” said CCFR Board Chairman Dave Tilley.

The 2018 general revenue tax rate was .9937 and the proposed general revenue tax rate for 2019 will be .9384.

CCFR Open House at Station #5

Join us at Central County Fire & Rescue Station #5 for an open house! Attendees will enjoy station tours, an up-close look at our fire trucks and a chance to meet your CCFR firefighters.

This event is free and open to the public.

Saturday, Oct. 5
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
CCFR Station #5
3421 Harry S. Truman Blvd.
St. Charles, MO 63301