While partygoers were busy bringing in the New Year, two Clay County families lost their homes to fire Tuesday night.
Volunteer fire fighters from Joy, Bluegrove and Windthorst responded to the Deer Creek home of Jeremy and Kat McClelland to find the structure completely engulfed in flames.
The fire at 1591 Wilson Road is believed to have started around a whirlpool bathtub, possibly caused by an electrical short. It was first reported at about 7 p.m. Dec. 31. Fire fighters concentrated on keeping the fire contained, and away from outbuildings. No injuries were reported.
It was the second time the house has burned. The structure caught file while under construction several years ago. This time, the home is a total loss.
The McClellands have three boys who attend school at Midway. An account has been set up to benefit the family at Legend Bank. Other ways to assist the McClelland family can found through updates on the Joy Helping Hand Facebook page, as well as the Joy Baptist Church website.
At 10 p.m., the Lake Arrowhead, Arrowhead Ranch Estates and Jolly volunteer fire departments responded to a house fire at 410 Cherokee Trail on the West side of Lake Arrowhead. Fire fighters arrived to find the home of Dan and Judy Parks fully engulfed. Fire fighters remained on scene until 2 a.m., putting out hotspots and protecting neighboring houses from flames.
A cigarette caused the fire. The home is a total loss. Both residents were home at the time of the fire. They and their three dogs escaped without injury, although it is not known if their cats survived.
The Parks family has been placed in a hotel by the American Red Cross and received a voucher for the purchase of clothing and other necessities.