Good morning and thank goodness, it’s Friday! We’ve had another eventful and busy week in Neosho and I’m looking for a little R&R if at all possible this weekend. Early Sunday morning, I received a text from our city manager that there was a fire going at the Hamptons apartments out on Beaumont St. in Neosho. By this time Goodman and Redings Mill fire departments had arrived to assist in fighting the fire. I immediately headed out to the site of the fire to see if there was anything I could do to help.

Good morning and thank goodness, it’s Friday! We’ve had another eventful and busy week in Neosho and I’m looking for a little R&R if at all possible this weekend. Early Sunday morning, I received a text from our city manager that there was a fire going at the Hamptons apartments out on Beaumont St. in Neosho. By this time Goodman and Redings Mill fire departments had arrived to assist in fighting the fire. I immediately headed out to the site of the fire to see if there was anything I could do to help.
As I pulled up in my old trusty pickup I quickly observed that things were well under control. The first two men I greeted as I was walking up to the smoldering apartment building C, were volunteers from the Red Cross. They were already assisting in helping the 16 displaced families and their immediate needs. I mentioned to them if they needed anything from me just to let me know. The next two men I met were NPD officers I knew and they filled me in on a few details as to the status of the fire, assuring me that all the people had been evacuated safely and were being attended to. The officers led me around the building where I found NFD chief Eads in full fire gear keeping a keen eye on the upstairs apartment that was obviously a complete loss. The fire had quickly burned through the exterior wall in into the attic leaving nothing but a gaping hole in the building over that apartment. Several firefighters were still in the building checking for any areas with a thermal imaging device and continuing to spray water over certain areas that were still burning. Chief Eads filled me in on the most important details to me, which were that there was no loss of life and no injuries. “Thank God for that!” I exclaimed as chief nodded his head in agreement.
The fire chief also told me that even though this was quite a large fire, that it could have been much worse, especially if it had started in the south end of the building and with the wind blowing the direction it was, it would have been much more devastating. Chief also explained that the fire marshal was still examining the scene to determine the cause, and he would let me know when that determination was made.
Though it was heart-rending to see some of the displaced residents salvaging what they could from the mess, I’m thankful that it was only belongings that were lost. And yet again, I saw Neoshoans pull together for each other. Neighbors helping neighbors, family, and friends showing up to help each other, always an attitude of resiliency and overcoming the difficulty. That’s what makes this community great! We’ve weathered another difficult time together and it has made us stronger. Some of these families will be feeling the weight of this tragedy for months to come, please pray for them and help in any way that you can, I’m sure it would be appreciated.
I want to thank all our first responders and other area fire departments for the excellent job that they performed, and for the Red Cross volunteers who helped tremendously in our time of need. Until next time, stay awesome Neosho and hang in there!

Ben Bakers is the mayor of Neosho and writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.