This home on Lakewood Drive southeast of De Soto was destroyed by fire.

This home on Lakewood Drive southeast of De Soto was destroyed by fire.

High winds and a cigarette appear to be the cause of a recent fire that destroyed a modular house in the Valle Lake subdivision southwest of De Soto. The fire occurred about 9:45 a.m. Jan. 9 at a home in the 4100 block of Lakewood Drive, Fire Chief Tom Fitzgerald said.

He said four adults and several animals were at the home when the fire started, and they all got out OK. However, they had to find other housing.

“The modular home has to be taken down,” Fitzgerald said. “We called the Red Cross.”

He said it appears a spark from a discarded cigarette started the fire.

“We believe the cause was from a discarded cigarette in an ashtray on the front porch,” Fitzgerald said. “There was a 30-mile per hour wind.”

He said firefighters were on the scene for about three and a half hours.

The De Soto and Festus fire departments and the Hematite, Jefferson R-7, Big River, Hillsboro, Cedar Hill and Dunklin fire protection districts helped with the call, as did the Valle Ambulance District.

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