Brian Kelly @Brpkelly

MOSCOW MILLS, MO (KMOX)-Donations are coming in for the family of an O’Fallon, Missouri police officer, who lost their Moscow Mills home to fire, Thursday night.

The fire in the 200 block of Hammerstone apparently started when embers from a fire pit were blown into the back yard, and ignited the grass. “One of the homeowners had noticed a glow outside,” says Lincoln County Fire Protection District Number 1 Fire Marshal Barry Nuss. “They went outside and tried to put it out with a fire extinguisher, but just weren’t able to.”

officer house fire Police Officers Home Destroyed By Fire, Fund Raising Efforts Underway

(Courtesy: Lincoln County Fire Protection District #1)

Nuss says by the time firefighters got there the flames had climbed up the back of the home and into the attic. “We spent most of our time protecting the two close structures, the homes on either side of it, which firefighters were able to save.”

The four people inside at the time got out safely.

It didn’t take long for word of the fire to get out, and the community to rally around Officer Montana Stephenson and his family of six. Within hours a Go Fund Me page had been set up. “It raised well over $10,000 just in the first three hours, just because of the great community we live in.”  There’s also word that the owner of an apartment complex is offering the Stephenson’s an apartment to live in until their home can be rebuilt.

“The outpouring of support from the community is always outstanding at this time of year,” says Nuss. “We certainly appreciate it and we know the family does too.”

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