Firemen responded to four house fires in the final month of the year. Assistant Chief Phil Ogle said several of the fires were related to chimneys. He urged residents to get chimneys cleaned before seasonal use. Ogle connected other fires to Christmas trees getting too close to other heating sources.
Rural firemen also provided a mutual aid response in four other structure fires. Two runs assisted Pierce City firefighters, one on a home in town and another on Christmas day at the Mid-America Hardwoods plant on Highway 60.
Two other responses aided the Freistatt department. Firemen fought a house fire east of the John Deere dealership and brought a tanker truck to help fight a house fire in Hoberg with Freistatt and Mt. Vernon firefighters.
Rural firefighters also went to six vehicular accidents, one helicopter landing zone and four grass fires. Ogle said the grass fires were minor, causing little damage. Residents attempting controlled burns or burning trash on windy days caused the fires, he said.
In 2009 Monett Rural firefighters responded to 11 structure fires, three car fires, 55 vehicular accidents and 48 grass fires. Firemen answered 14 mutual aid requests and made 16 runs in response to medical problems. Thirty other runs responded to miscellaneous issues such as electrical transformer fires. In all firemen answered 177 calls during the past year.
Memberships are now due in the Monett Rural Fire association. Dues can be paid at Huffmaster Insurance at Seventh and Cleveland in Monett.
Preparations are also underway for a chili supper benefit on Jan. 23 at the Monett City Park Casino. The event will also include a silent auction for a rifle and a pie auction. Proceeds will go toward construction of a new fire station in the Monett Industrial Park.
New signs showing membership are ready and can be picked up beginning Jan. 11 at Huffmaster Insurance.