The fire appeared to start in the back of the house, then moved to the roof, Cooper County Fire Chief Dave Gehm said.

Nobody was hurt as Cooper County fire crews faced howling winds, narrow roads and a lack of water to put out a Boonville house fire Wednesday night. The house was severely damaged and almost entirely without a roof Thursday morning.

The Cooper County Fire Protection District was called out to the home of Doug Kenny on Hickory Grove at 6:15 p.m. on Wednesday. Nobody was in the house at the time. Neighbors called after seeing fire on the back porch, Cooper County Fire Chief Dave Gehm said. Firemen had the fire out around 9:30 p.m., but they were called back at 9:44 p.m. after the wind rekindled the flames. There was only one hot spot, and crews had it completely out around 11 p.m.

The cause of the fire is unknown. Investigators would analyse the house Thursday, and Gehm said it did not seem suspicious.

The Boonville Fire Department sent a ladder truck to help extinguish the fire, which was mostly in the kitchen at the back of the house and the attic, Gehm said. You can’t put out an attic fire like that from down low, so having Boonville firefighters hosing from above was crucial, Gehm said.

Firemen initially had trouble getting water. A nearby hydrant was fed by a line too small to handle a fire that big, so they brought in tankers, Gehm said.

The tankers were difficult to get up Hickory Grove, a small, narrow, gravel loop off Jackson Road with ten houses. Adding to the struggle was a crowd of people who had gathered around the fire, blocking the tankers from getting in, Gehm said.

“It’s human nature,” he said.

Law enforcement came to clear the roads, and crewmen were able bring in the tankers. They also located a capable hydrant in a nearby subdivision, so they hooked up a hose, which the Boonville firefighters used to hose the attic from above, he said.