Five area fire departments responded to a house fire at around 12:40 a.m. Friday on County Road 7640 about 3 miles northeast of Moody in Howell County.

According to Moody Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jason Cullum, about 20 firefighters from his department and Lanton, Howell Rural, Bakersfield and Caulfield departments arrived shortly on the scene.  

Cullum said when firefighters arrived at the two-story house, smoke was coming from the basement and shortly after they entered the house to determine the source of the smoke the house went up in flames.

A Moody firefighter on the scene suffered breathing problems related to smoke inhalation and was taken to Ozarks Medical Center in West Plains. He was later released after treatment.

Cullum said he also had some breathing issues related to smoke inhalation, but no other injuries were reported.

Firefighters stayed on the scene until 5:30 a.m. to make sure the blaze was out and wouldn’t spread further.

“It was a total loss,” Cullum said of the house. “I feel for the family, they lost everything.”

He added that, while an official cause of the fire has yet to be determined, he wants to warn people to be cautious about stacking firewood in their homes.

“It’s also important to check your fire extinguishers and smoke detectors,” he said.

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