House fire

Written by David Green.

house-fire

Quick thinking by a pair of baby-sitters prevented what could have been a much bigger tragedy Friday night.

A house owned by Dustin and Jenny Reckner was declared a total loss by fire investigators, but the Reckners’ three children and their two baby-sitters escaped unharmed.

Morenci fire chief Chad Schisler said that the sitters, Allison, 12, and Chelsea, 14, June noticed an odor as if something were burning and immediately looked around the house to find the cause. They spotted flames around the porch light and quickly awoke the Reckners’ two-year-old and nine-month-old children who were asleep upstairs.

They left the house with those two children and the four-year-old child who was still awake exited through a sliding door to avoid the fire on the porch. They all ran across the street to a neighboring house and the 911 call was placed.

The upstairs smoke alarms eventually functioned in the house, Schisler said, but girls detected the trouble first on their own.

“They did an excellent job,” he said, “and we hope they get an award for their quick thinking. One of the kids told me ’They didn’t teach us that in baby-sitting school’.”

Most of the damage was in the upper portion of the house, Schisler said. A photo taken by Dan Bodette shows the likely path of the flames, starting at the porch light and traveling upward to the attic.

The Morenci Fire Department received the fire call at 9:26 p.m. Friday and remained on the scene until 2:40 a.m. About 20,000 gallons of water was used to extinguish the blaze. Equipment and personnel also came from the Fairfield, Lyons and Madison departments. Fayette sent personnel.

The property is located at 10062 Elliott Highway, where Elliott intersects with Weston Road.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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