Crews Battle Fire in North St. Joseph Neighborhood

Published 02/06 2014 11:50AM

Updated 02/07 2014 02:44PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) A fire in north St. Joseph sent thick, black smoke billowing into the sky Thursday.

Firefighters battled the cold and the snow still on the ground when they responded to a fire call in the 2600 block of Flintstone Drive around 11:30 a.m.

The Highway Patrol also responded when they learned the home belonged to one of their own.

All afternoon countless neighbors and fellow troopers rallied around their brother as they watched his home burn.

"I heard like a little pop so I looked outside and I didn't see anything. Then about four minutes later a fire truck just came rolling right past our house," says Nathan Montgomery, who lives near the home that burned.

The home belongs to Trooper Donald Tyes.

They say it's a tragedy for anyone to lose a home, especially when it's family.

"It does hit close to home when it's somebody that you consider your brother and to see something happen like what happened today obviously gets a lot of people out here to support for him," said Sgt. Corey Root with the Missouri Highway Patrol.

It took firefighters nearly two hours to put of the flames. They say due to weather, the fire got away from them and spread to the roof.

"We put a stop to it as best we could with the conditions we had here today," says Steven McNulty, Battalion Chief for the St. Joseph Fire Department.
Tyes' adult daughter was home at the time but managed to escape. She was taken away by ambulance and treated for smoke inhalation and minor burns.

Once the fire was under control, you could see both firefighters and troopers gathering everything from the home that was salvageable.

"This guy, he's out here putting his life on the line for us everyday and for somebody to lose their home this time of year it's hard to take," added McNulty.

Neighbors describe Tyes and his family as friendly and willing to help anyone with anything.

"They're really nice and they are really generous and I'm sure they'd do anything for anyone," said Montgomery.

They say Tyes is okay and has the support from his fellow brothers who plan to do any and everything his family needs during this difficult time.

"He's alright, he's taking everything in stride. I'm sure it's hard for him to see all this mess but he's holding up pretty good, he's a strong man," said McNulty.

The fire department believes the fire was caused by an electrical overload. They say the home is a complete loss.

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