A wood-burning stove was the apparent culprit in a fire shortly after 6 p.m. on Saturday that destroyed the White Oak Ridge Taxidermy shop on the Greg Peckham farm on Incline Road southwest of Avilla.


 


A wood-burning stove was the apparent culprit in a fire shortly after 6 p.m. on Saturday that destroyed the White Oak Ridge Taxidermy shop on the Greg Peckham farm on Incline Road southwest of Avilla.

Carthage and Avilla firefighters battled heavy snow and slick roads just to get to scene but there was nothing they could do as the cinder block building burned to the ground.

Owner Greg Peckham said the fire was beyond control by the time a neighbor noticed the flames and alerted him.

He said flames were coming from the area of the wood-burning stove when he first saw them.

Peckham said he lost several displays in the fire.

“Two of them I was working on for customers,” Peckham said. “You can’t replace a lot of that stuff.”

The fire was one of dozens of incidents that had emergency workers hopping on a snowy first day of spring.

Dozens of vehicles slid off the road sending a number of area residents to hospitals.

In one accident at 5 p.m. on Saturday, five Sarcoxie residents and one Aurora resident, including four children, were taken to Cox Hospital in Monett after their vehicle slid off Missouri Highway 97 one mile south of Pierce City.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol said Crystal R. Sullivan, 32, was driving a minivan north on Missouri 97 when it traveled off the left side of the road and hit a culvert. 

Sullivan and passengers Jamie M. Arnold, 17; Africa Sullivan, 1; Craig Sullivan, 3 and Lindsey D. Sullivan, 4, all of Sarcoxie and Lucas J. Sullivan, 9, Aurora, were all taken to the hospital after the accident.

The National Weather Service Office in Springfield said most of Jasper County, including Carthage, got between six and 10 inches of snow and sleet while a sliver of western Jasper County and much of Barton and Vernon counties received between eight and 12 inches of snow.

Much of the snow melted away on Monday as temperatures rebounded to the 50s in Carthage.