Family with four young children loses everything in weekend house fire

Four Ozark County volunteer fire departments battled a Sunday night blaze that destroyed a home south of Gainesville occupied by a family of six, including four children age 3 and younger. Photo courtesy Pontiac / Price Place VFD

The cause of the Sunday night house fire on Highway 5 south is unknown, according to Timber Knob VFD chief Nancy Winslow, but it’s believed the fire started in the garage. Times photo Regina Mozingo

A Gainesville-area family of six, including four boys age 3 and younger, lost their home and possessions in a Sunday night fire.
Daniel Johnson called the Ozark County Sheriff’s Office at 10:12 p.m. Sunday to report that his house on Highway 5 south of Gainesville was on fire.
Johnson, with Haley Klingsmith and their four sons, Kayden, 3, Kaiser, 2, and 1-year-old twins Brantley and Camdyn, were watching television at their home when Johnson said he smelled smoke and went into the home’s kitchen.
Johnson’s sister Amy Rodrigue said Monday that when her brother opened the garage door, the kitchen filled with smoke. He yelled for Klingsmith to get the boys out of the house. “They each grabbed two and took off out the door,” said Rodrigue.

Timber Knob Volunteer Fire Department chief Nancy Winslow told the Times Monday that Johnson got his family safely out of the house, but the home and its contents, plus the family’s vehicles, were a total loss.
Winslow said the cause of the fire is unknown, but Johnson told firefighters at the scene something seemed “weird” because it sounded to him like “one of the cars was trying to start itself.”
An Ozark County Ambulance crew, responding in mutual aid to the fire, was first on the scene and saw a car on fire in the home’s garage. The ambulance crew made sure the home’s occupants were safe, but with no firefighting equipment,  they had no way to battle the blaze.
By the time Gainesville VFD arrived a few minutes later, the house was fully engulfed, firefighters said. Timber Knob VFD, Pontiac / Price Place and Lick Creek VFDs arrived soon after. The fire was in the TKVFD district; the other departments responded in mutual aid.
Several friends and family members took to Facebook Monday asking for clothing for the displaced family. According to Rodrigue, boys clothing size 4-5T is needed for the older two boys, and size 24 months is needed for the 1-year-old twins. Both older boys wear child’s size 12 shoes. Three-year-old Kayden wears size 4-5 underwear. Size 6 diapers are needed for the three younger children.
Kayden and Kaiser will have birthdays at the end of November.
Johnson wears size 32/32 pants and medium to large shirts. Klingsmith wears size 3-5 jeans and small to medium shirts.
The family is staying with Amy Rodrigue’s family at this time. Those who have clothing or other items to share with the family are asked to contact her through Facebook to arrange to meet in Gainesville.


Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423