Fire burns south county home
$162,000 loss to Bob McNeel home
January 3, 2005
The Sublette County Sheriff’s Office reported that sheriff’s deputies responded to a structure fire at the Bob McNeel ranch approximately 15 miles north of Big Piney, Wyoming on Sunday, January 2nd.
McNeel was apparently trying to start a fire in the wood stove in the house when the fire "blew back" and caught the can with diesel fuel in it on fire. The throw rug was also on fire. Both the fuel can and the throw rug were thrown out of the house by occupants of the house. Family friend, Cecil Meeks and Lee Kelly, extinguished the fire with a fire extinguisher and thought it was out. Shortly thereafter, they noticed smoke coming from between the stairs and the walls. Deannie Kelly, Bob McNeel’s step-daughter, was in the house and was rescued from a second story window by Cecil Meeks who had driven a tractor near the window to aid her escape. Ms. Kelly was able to save her cockatoo bird.
The Big Piney, Daniel and Pinedale volunteer fire departments all responded to the fire, as well as the Big Piney EMS. The preliminary value lost is approximately $162,000, plus contents of the house. The incident remains under investigation.