A police officer on patrol discovered the deck of a home was on fire early Thursday morning, immediately notified the Fire Department and woke up the residents of the house who were then able to escape without injury.
Officer Michael Sheehan was in the area of the Lakeside Wilderness Forest around 7:50am am when he noticed black smoke in the Murphy Subdivision located on the north side of 76 Highway. The deck of a home in the 1700 block of Miller Drive was on fire including a part of the yard. Sheehan notified the Fire Department and was able to get the door open and wake up a female sleeping on the couch who then notified two other occupants in the residence.
The Branson Fire Department responded within two minutes to the home and put the fire out and kept it from spreading into the home.
A majority of the deck will have to be repaired or replaced as a lot of the structural supports were damaged by the fire.
Carless discarding of cigarette smoking materials could not be ruled out as a possible cause of the fire.
Even with recent rainfall firefighters report surface conditions are still extremely dry, especially leaves, dormant grass, and fallen tree branches combined with low humidity and gusty winds. Firefighters encourage residents to discard cigarettes and like material in flame proof containers and not allow them to be discarded on the ground vegetation.
Firefighters also remind residents to test smoke alarms each month and practice a fire safety escape plan with their family knowing two ways out of the home with a common meeting place outside.