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The Cooper County Fire Protection District has recognized Columbia author Tim Scherrer for his 350-page book on the Great Wooldridge fire of 2022 (December 2023 file photo courtesy of Mr. Scherrer)

Author of Wooldridge fire book plans presentation tonight in Jefferson City

Missouri Governor Mike Parson and then-U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville) brief reporters and Wooldridge-area residents in front of the fire-damaged church on October 26, 2022 (file photo courtesy of Governor Parson’s Facebook page)

Tonight is your opportunity to learn new details about the great Wooldridge fire of 2022, a fire that literally burned half of the mid-Missouri village off the map in less than two hours.

Columbia resident Tim Scherrer, who’s written a 350-page book about the fire called “Half the Town Burned”, will speak tonight at 6:45 at the Jefferson City public library. Mr. Scherrer tells 939 the Eagle that he plans to cover the disaster from all aspects tonight, including the 911 call, radio traffic and updates on the outcomes of the fire. The October 2022 blaze shut down busy I-70 in mid-Missouri’s Cooper County for several hours.

Mr. Scherrer notes it was the largest fire mutual aid response in Missouri history. The blaze destroyed at least 23 structures in Wooldridge. 161 firefighters from 63 departments from across Missouri battled the blaze. He says 120 years of Wooldridge history disappeared in flames that Saturday afternoon, as firefighters battled the greatest fire of their careers.

Mr. Scheerer doesn’t mince words about the impact of that blaze on Wooldridge. He writes that the blaze left most residents, living on the edge of poverty, struggling to meet basic needs. He’s sold more than 300 copies of his book in mid-Missouri. Mr. Scherrer’s presentation tonight at the Jefferson City library is open to the public.

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