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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • House destroyed by fire

  • A fire that destroyed a Leavenworth home Sunday night is believed to have been sparked by lightning, a Fire Department spokesman said.
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  • A fire that destroyed a Leavenworth home Sunday night is believed to have been sparked by lightning, a Fire Department spokesman said.
    The fire was reported at 8:10 p.m. Sunday at 703 S. Broadway. No injuries were reported.
    Acting Fire Chief Mark Nietzke said lightning may have struck the one-story home's weatherhead, which is where power feeds into the house.
    There were two people at the residence at the time of the fire.
    "They both got out OK," he said.
    Firefighters could see fire and smoke coming from the roof area when they arrived. Nietzke said the fire spread into the home's attic and walls.
    "We had a lot of trouble putting it out," he said.
    As the result of renovations, the house had more than one layer of roof and ceiling, which made it more difficult to battle the blaze.
    Nietzke also noted that the fire occurred "right in the middle of a pretty good storm."
    He said the wind was blowing pretty hard.
    He estimated it took firefighters between 45 minutes and an hour to get the fire under control.
    "We still had hot spots that we chased around for a couple of hours after that," he said.
    Members of the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department and Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 responded to the scene to provide assistance. Four off-duty members of the Leavenworth Fire Department also were called in to help.
    Nietzke said most of the fire damage was in the back side of the house. The estimated loss is $60,000.
    "It's pretty much destroyed," Nietzke said of the house.
    He said there were a couple of trees near the house that also showed signs of having been struck by lightning.

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