Shawn Knight, a Wooldridge village resident, cleans the remains of his burned home on Friday, Dec. 9. For now, Knight is one of only a few people who returned to live on the land. Photo by Beatrice Bankauskaite.
Fire blazes at a residence on Saturday, Oct. 22, on Main Street in Wooldridge, Mo. A mixture of high winds and low humidity caused the fire to quickly spread to the structures in the village. Photo by Clayton Steward.
Titus McComb, 9, rides his bike past the remains of homes on Sunday, Oct. 23, in Wooldridge. The McComb family lost pets in the fire, including a dog named Olaf. Photo by Margo Wagner.
Charred mailboxes sit on the edge of Saline Street in Wooldridge. Resident Justin Wood said the roads into town were closed to prevent non-locals from driving around to examine the damage. Areas of the village were still smoldering more than a day after the fire, and there was hazardous debris including broken glass and electrical lines. Photo by Lily Dozier.
From left, Matthew Colbert, Drew Alexander and Heaven Maggard dig through ashes to find their friends’, Cody and Kelsey Knox, wedding rings Wednesday, Oct. 26, in Wooldridge, Mo. Cody Knox said the rings are the one thing he wanted to recover. Photo by Nicole Gutierrez.
Joey Jones, a resident of Glasgow, Mo., bowls on Saturday, Dec. 10, at California Lanes in California, Mo. Jones, who lost his home to a fire in 2010, coordinated the Wooldridge benefit event because he felt he could understand what the community had gone through. “When you pull up, you see smoke coming from your home that you’ve worked all your life to get and make yours … it just broke my heart; it completely devastated us,” Jones said. “I’ve kind of been in the same spot as these people … I feel it was a perfect opportunity for me to give back." Photo by Lily Dozier.
People from around mid-Missouri participate in a bowling tournament for a benefit event to raise money for Wooldridge on Saturday at California Lanes in California, Mo. Many participants expressed they were excited for the opportunity to get together and support a good cause. “It just blows my mind that these people will just come together in such a short time,” said Joey Jones, who helped coordinate the event. “It shows the love and support in the community to help everybody grow back bigger and stronger.” Photo by Lily Dozier.
From left, Wooldridge city board members Taylor Grimm Wood, Alexis Nixon and Kelly Murphy listen as Joey Jones reads out that the event was able to raise almost $3,000 for Wooldridge on Saturday at California Lanes in California, Mo. Nixon talked about how when disasters like the Wooldridge fire happen, people expect there to be aid services to back them up, but there are not. “The safety net is things like this. It’s community,” Nixon said. Photo by Lily Dozier.