by Gene Hartley
4:39 PM CST, January 24, 2013
CLEAR SPRINGS, Mo. -- A house fire killed a 16-year-old boy in a remote rural area of southern Texas County on Thursday morning. Texas County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Wes Campbell says it appears Ian Hatfield was not able to get out of his upstairs bedroom.
The boy's father says he spotted the fire about 6:40 a.m., according to Coroner Thomas Whittaker. The father couldn't get to the stairway to rescue the teenager, so he went outside and put a ladder up against a wall to try to get the boy out through a hole in the wall, because he couldn't get the ladder to a window. Unfortunately, he couldn't get Ian to come to him, even though he could hear his voice, and then the heat and smoke forced the father off the ladder.
The house, which Whittaker estimated to be about 10 years old, was made of fiberboard. It's off Highway Y east of Missouri 137 between Willow Springs and Houston. A long unimproved driveway leads to the home. Tyrone, Clear Springs and Raymondville firefighters fought the fire but little more than ashes are left of the home.
Whittaker said Ian's mother was gone from the home to take the boy's younger brother to meet a Cabool School District bus. Whittaker said the family home-schooled Ian.
An investigator for the State Fire Marshal's Office was at the scene on Thursday morning but Campbell says he couldn't find the cause of the fire because of the total destruction. Campbell said it appears the fire started in the kitchen area near a wood-burning stove.
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