“The only thing left standing was a chimney,” said Ralls County Deputy Richard Adair, as he described the early morning fire Friday, Dec. 27, that destroyed the rural Ralls County home of Megan and Eugene Haynes.
The Haynes family was not at home when the fire was reported at 1:55 a.m., Adair said, because they were staying with relatives.
Megan Haynes explained why. “Our furnace went out a couple days ago, and we had been staying in Hannibal.
“We got the call at around 3 a.m. and they said our house burned to the ground.”
Their property is on Falcon Drive, which is between Center and New London, according to Adair.
“At least two or three dozen” firefighters from the Center and Perry volunteer fire departments helped extinguish the fire in the two-story frame home, Adair said. They were on the scene until around 6 a.m.
“They come and go and others may not be on the scene but were on water trucks. The pumpers carry from 500 to 2,000 gallons, and it probably takes well over 100,000 gallons to fight a fire.”
All the firefighters are volunteers, Adair noted. “They got out of bed in the morning, and put their lives in danger.”
Ralls County Sheriff Gary Dinwiddie said the fire marshal had reported that because the house “burned to the ground, it will be difficult to determine a cause.”
Adair said, “there is still an active investigation” of the cause of the fire. “It is believed to look suspicious.
We will try to get the answer.”
Anyone with information is requested to call the sheriff’s department at (573) 985-5611, Adair said.
Mother offers location
for clothing, household
items to be donated
Late afternoon Friday, the American Red Cross was providing the family Haynes family temporary housing in a hotel, Megan said, along with vouchers for other necessities.
The Haynes family includes their 16-month-old daughter, Serenity, and Eugene’s sons, Brysin, 5; and Eugene, 7, who live with them every other weekend. The boys go to Veterans Elementary School in Hannibal.
They do not have insurance, Megan said, explaining they were buying the property.
Megan said she and Eugene have already talked about rebuilding a house on their property. “It was an older house, but we had just remodeled all of it.”
They lost everything they owned, Megan said. “We need everything.”
She added that someone had already put a message on Facebook, stating donations could be taken to the home of her mother, Becky Elzea, at 1205 Church St. in Hannibal.
Page 2 of 2 - She and her mother provided the following clothing sizes:
• Megan, size 11 jeans and medium or large tops.
• Eugene, size 36-32 or 38-32 jeans and extra large shirts.
• Serenity, size 18 to 24 months.
• Brysin, size 5.
• Eugene, size 8.
Elzea would appreciate a phone call at (573) 822-6472 from 10 a.m. to evening, before donations are delivered to her apartment. “I am usually home most of the time,” she said.
The apartment house at 1205 Church is directly behind the Shell station on Broadway, she said. Her upstairs apartment‘s door is on the far left, with the number on the mailbox.
By Friday evening, she reported, a bag of toys and a bag of books had been delivered.
“They still need clothes,” Elzea said. “She needs household items, but she was just worried about clothes at the moment.”
Rather then large items of furniture, Elzea said, “we would like household stuff first to start with. She was doing her house in apple kitchen things.”
Because everything they owned is gone, Elzea added, donations could be “anything people think they would use. They will be starting over in a new home.”