(Tim Jaynes, Staff)
Over 50 firefighters from the Sikeston Department of Public Safety and the fire departments from Miner, Morehouse, New Hamburg-Benton-Commerce Fire Protection District, Oran, Matthews, Blodgett, Scott County Rural and Vanduser responded to a fire off Highway 61 south of Sikeston Thursday. The fire started about 3 p.m., according to Capt. Jim Hailey of the Sikeston DPS fire division, behind a building owned by Larry Myres just north of the old DeWitt Co. building on DeWitt Lane when a wrecker backfired and set grass on fire. "Apparently it burned for awhile unnoticed," Hailey said. "There are some vehicles stored there owned by Danny's Auto Sales. A total of 45 vehicles caught fire. It spread into the building, and of course the wind and dry conditions helped speed the fire." Witnesses at the scene reported seeing and hearing several small explosions. Firefighters cleared the scene at about 6:15 p.m.