Recovery Begins After Boonville fires

1 decade 4 years 5 months ago Wednesday, October 12 2005 Oct 12, 2005 Wednesday, October 12, 2005 7:57:17 AM CDT October 12, 2005 in News

Ameren UE spent the day restoring gas to homes shut off after yesterday's fires. The fires started after a gas worker connected two lines with different pressures during a scheduled upgrade. Workers from across the state as well as Illinois are going door to door restoring power and relighting pilot lights.

Residents who faced the fire are now trying to make plans to rebuild.

On Monday, pilot lights turned into flame throwers.

"The pilot light went awry and blew, and then the fire went straight up and out underneath the dining room, " fire victim Gene Royer said.

Burning up Royer's dream of opening a bed and breakfast in his house with it.

"We may miss some of the holiday season," Royer said.

Royer hired a team to get his house back to normal as soon as possible.

"We'll begin the restoration process, which will include hardwood floor replacement and refinishing, painting, wallpapering," home restorer Victor Sapp said.  "There's quite a few things that will have to happen here in the next few months."

Sapp said that the project could cost $60,000.

Ameren UE said that it has set up a procedure to pay for the damage.

"We are providing the claims information, we want to get people fixed up and help them as much as we can," Ameren spokesperson Mike Cleary said.

Until those claims go through Royer is relying on insurance and the goodwill of friends.

"(I'm) thankful for all the friends and neighbors who've stepped up and offered help," Royer said.

Ameren is conducting similar upgrades to equipment across the state.

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