Caffeyville, MO – A woman and her granddaughter escaped from a burning home after something exploded on Thursday. The home is in rural Laclede County.
The cold weather may have led to an explosion inside a home in Laclede County.
“All at once, something exploded in the bathroom,” said Joyce Randolph.
Within minutes, the house was filled with smoke and flames.
Firefighters say the fire started in the back portion of the house in a bathroom. They say a propane heater possibly caused the explosion. Randolph says she had also left a blow dryer running to thaw a frozen pipe, so it’s not clear what caused the explosion.
Randolph tried to put out the fire with water but it didn’t help. She closed the door and tried to call nearby family for help.
“I can’t see the phone that good, so I couldn’t get any of them, but I wear this thing around my neck that helps you if you need to call someone,” she said.
“So, in a roundabout way, she talked to a stranger on the phone, gave them Amanda’s number, so they could call her granddaughter, and she called me, and we got her out,” said Joyce’s daughter-in-law and neighbor, Sheila Randolph.
Sheila got to the house just in time to see a neighbor carrying her granddaughter out and going back in for her mother-in-law.
“The house was engulfed in flames,” Sheila said.
It took nine fire departments nearly four hours to put out the fire, and even longer to move their trucks.
“We had problems with trucks getting stuck on and off the roadway because the ground was soft,” said Lebanon Rural Fire Protection District Chief Jason Church.
The house is destroyed.
“I’ve lived there 68 years, so it’s been home to me for a long time,” said Joyce Randolph.
But she and her family are thankful the most precious treasures were saved.
“Everything can be replaced. The lives can’t,” Sheila said. Joyce Randolph celebrates her 88th birthday next month, and her great-granddaughter, Bailey, celebrates her first one next week.
Lebanon Rural firefighters say the weather on Thursday was not on their side. Slick roads and bad visibility caused their response time to be much longer than usual.
The home is on Highway C, northeast of Phllipsburg and south of Lebanon on the south side of Interstate 44.