The owners of a Festus-area home that was destroyed in a fire early Monday morning (June 7) credit their dogs with saving their lives.
The Jefferson R-7 Fire Protection District got a call at 2:35 a.m. about the fire in the 3100 block of Plattin Road south of Festus, Assistant Chief Kevin Morrison said.
The homeowners – Jack and Tracy Boeve – and one of their children, Megan, were alerted to the blaze when their dogs began barking, Tracy Boeve said today (June 8).
They got out of the home uninjured, but one of the family’s dogs is missing and presumably died in the fire, Boeve said.
“It was the dogs barking that alerted us to the fire,” she said. “Our alarms did not go off.”
She and her husband recently opened a frozen treat shop named Stella’s Ice Bar in Festus, which is named after one of the family’s dogs, Stella, who survived.
Another dog, Gunner hid, Boeve said.
“We think he died,” she said.
Morrison said firefighters arrived at the scene of the fire shortly after being dispatched and found the house fully engulfed in flames.
“It started as a porch fire,” he said. “When we arrived, the two-story house had heavy fire inside.”
About 12 other firefighting agencies were called to help because the house was not near a hydrant, Morrison said.
“We had to shuttle in water because there are no hydrants nearby,” he said.
Firefighters were on the scene for several hours, Morrison said.
“The cause is undetermined at this point and under investigation,” he said. “It is not considered suspicious.”
Morrison described the house as “a total loss.”
Boeve said some supplies she and her husband kept at the house for their new business were lost, which could affect operations, but Stella’s Ice Bar remains open as the family copes with the loss.
“We had concentrate for snow cones at the house,” she said. “We’ve already placed an order (to restock). Hopefully, we’ll be able to keep it open and running.”
Boeve said today that she and her husband and daughter are staying with other family members.
“We plan to rebuild,” she said. “We’re staying with family right now, and insurance is taking care of our needs.”