FREISTATT, Mo. --At least seven fire crews fought a large wildfire just northeast of Freistatt on Tuesday afternoon that charred hundreds of acres. Flames consumed both wooded areas and pasture land.
The fire came within about 50 yards of Carlye Whitnell house; she was told to take the children she was watching -- and flee.
"All I could think of was grabbing some things that belonged to my grandmother, that's all, after the kids were out and everybody," said Whitnell.
The Department of Conservation bulldozed a firebreak around her house to keep the flames at bay. Throughout the day, the blaze would creep closer to her hom and then retreat.
The fire started around 12:15 p.m. from a welder fixing a corral. It sparked flames that quickly whipped around the dry land and surrounded a nearby house.
The men working on the corral alerted Shirley Doss that she and her home were in danger. Rather than flee, they all grabbed buckets and garden hoses to stave off the fire.
In spite of being terrified, Doss said there was no way she was going to let her house burn after it had already survived a tornado.
"Thank God the wind was going more that way. It kind of looks a little buckled, but the tornado didn't take it -- so we saved it from a fire too," she said.
About seven departments battled the blaze for hours. One firefighter suffered heat exhaustion.