Firefighters from two area fire departments fought a blaze Thursday afternoon at a two-story brick house on Highway O. The address was 12540 Highway O, near Walnut Hills Place.
Hannibal Rural Fire Protection District Chief Mike Dobson later reported the house was believed to have been built in 1832.
The cause of the fire has not been determined, Dobson said. “The source of heat was wood, so I can’t rule that out, and as unstable as the structure is, I’m probably not going to call an investigator in.”
Initial reports at approximately 3:45 p.m. were that while no flames were visible, a significant amount of white smoke was coming from the structure.
At 3:55 p.m., Dobson, who was not yet on the scene, requested 911 to make a mutual aid request to the New London Fire Department. New London was asked to bring a tanker and manpower.
At 4:07 p.m., a firefighter at the scene was reporting heavy flames were now visible on the structure. It was at about this time a deputy advised that fire was beginning to spread on the ground in the direction of a second structure, which was estimated to be some 50 feet away from the burning building.
At 4:09 p.m., a pumper truck was asked to expedite its response.
At 4:13 p.m. a firefighter estimated that 50 percent of the building was engulfed in flames.
At 4:20 p.m., fire was reported to be coming out of the front of the building’s first floor. At about this time one of the tankers being utilized ran out of water and reportedly was returning to New London to refill.
At 4:39 p.m, a fire commander at the scene requested an estimated time of arrival from the tanker that had left for a refill. A firefighter advised the 500 gallon tanker was still filling.
At 4:50 p.m., a tanker advised it was returning to New London for more water.
Later Thursday, Dobson reported there were no injuries among his eight volunteer firefighters or the six or seven who came with the New London Volunteer Fire Department.
The Hannibal Rural firefighters took five trucks to the scene and hauled water from a hydrant on Lindell Avenue in Hannibal. The New London firefighters returned to New London for water, Dobson said.
The house is located about four miles south of Hannibal on property owned by Delbert Lehenbauer, Dobson said, and it was occupied by his son, Kenny Lehenbauer, who lived alone.
Kenny was not at home, and the fire was discovered by his dad, Dobson said. “He heard something pop and went to investigate and found smoke coming from the rear of the structure.”
Page 2 of 2 - Delbert Lehenbauer lives in a mobile home about 30 feet in back of the brick house where the fire was extinguished, Dobson said, and the fire was prevented from spreading to his home.
Kenny planned to stay with his dad Thursday night, Dobson said, and the American Red Cross was to check with Kenny again today, Jan. 31, to see what assistance is needed.
The Red Cross also came to the fire scene with food for the firefighters, Dobson said. “They are super about that.”