June 15, 2011 at 1:02 PM CDT - Updated June 24 at 9:46 AM
KENNETT, MO (KFVS) - Tuesday was a bittersweet day for one Heartland couple. They saved their 14-month-old baby, but lost their home to a fire.
Daniel Walton says he and his wife put their baby girl down for a nap Tuesday morning, then went outside to do yard work.
After a few minutes he glanced over to the garage apartment, and saw smoke coming from the garage.
Kennett Fire Chief John Mallot says once they knew the family was safe, they fought the fire in order to save the connecting house.
Walton's wife Jennifer says all their belongings are gone, and they only have the clothes they were wearing to do the yard work.
Walton said this was the scariest day of his life.
"Scared. Scared of course immediately my daughter, and that was all that mattered," said Walton. "At that time just get Madeline out of there. She's 14 months old, that's all I wanted to get done get her out. Possessions things can be replaced."
Mallot said the scene is still very dangerous because he is worried the structure will collapse at any moment. He says because of that, it was difficult for firefighters to put out the fire, since they could not climb into the second floor.
He also said firefighters would be back on the scene Tuesday night to make sure all hot spots are out, and the fire doesn't spark up again.
Mallot says they don't know the cause of this particular fire, but has some tips that could help prevent a summertime fire.
"Working around the garage, in the garage, if you're dealing with any kind of flammable liquids or anything like that, around lawn mowers and such, do it outside," said Mallot. "Make sure your smoke detectors work, and by all means be careful about leaving small children alone by themselves because they do depend on us as adults to protect them."