Turkey Hunters Escape Devastating Fire in Rural Knox County
By Echo Menges
Knox County, MO – Thursday, April 27, 2023 – Two hunters were lucky to escape a cabin fire Thursday afternoon. The fire was located at 56543 Stonewall Avenue in rural Knox County approximately two miles south of Highway 6 between Knox City and Edina.
According to one of the hunters, the two men returned to the cabin after a morning round of turkey hunting. Each of them harvested a turkey. The men were visiting from south of St. Louis to hunt.
Mark West told The Edina Sentinel, he and his friend Tom Ahonen were busy in the kitchen of the cabin cleaning up their freshly harvested turkey breasts when one of them noticed a fire on the back porch of the cabin.
“The flames must have been six feet high,” said Kevin West. “We got out but (Tom) went back in for his gun. Then, I went back in for him. By then, the kitchen was on fire and it was hot in there.”
Fortunately, both hunters made it out of the cabin before it was completely overtaken by flames, however, Ahonen sustained burn injuries on his arms.
“He got his gun out,” said West. “It’s a shotgun. He got his turkey out, too. The wing was on fire when he grabbed it – but he pulled it out.”
According to an emergency responder at the scene of the fire, Ahonen refused medical treatment at the scene, and was taken to a local clinic by a private citizen.
The first firefighter to arrive at the scene, Andrew Weiler, reported the back of the structure was fully engulfed by flames when he arrived. Flames were also seen coming from the roof. It was clear on arrival, the structure was too far gone to be saved.
The cabin was a total loss.
According to West, the hunters lost their clothes and food in the fire. He is grateful that was all they lost.
Firefighters extinguished the fire and hot spots that ignited in nearby woods, before clearing the scene at approximately 3:30 p.m.
According to Knox City Fire Chief Todd Goodwin, the call went out at approximately 1:00 p.m. Volunteer firefighters from Knox City, Baring, and Edina responded to the call, along with the Knox County Ambulance District.
The cause of the fire is unknown.