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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Blaze destroys house

  • No injuries were reported Friday morning after a portion of a Leavenworth home's roof collapsed during a fire.
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  • No injuries were reported Friday morning after a portion of a Leavenworth home's roof collapsed during a fire.
    The blaze was reported at 8:29 a.m. Friday at 625 Pawnee St. This was the second time that morning Leavenworth firefighters had been called to the house, Fire Department officials said.
    A fire first was reported there at 12:57 a.m. Friday.
    Acting Fire Chief Mark Nietzke said this initial fire, which was caused by overheated wires, was minor compared to the blaze that was reported later in the morning.
    Electricity was turned off to the house after the first fire.
    Mark DeMaranville, a health inspector and safety officer with the department, said the local Red Cross provided temporary lodging for the residents after the early morning fire.
    Nietzke said the second fire was discovered when one of the residents returned to the house to retrieve items. The fire was burning up a wall and in the attic.
    "She got out all right," Nietzke said of the resident.
    Nietzke estimated it took between an hour and 90 minutes for firefighters to get "a good handle" on the second blaze, enabling them to enter the home to look for hot spots.
    In addition to the on-duty personnel who responded, five off-duty members of the Leavenworth Fire Department were called in to help. Members of the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department also responded to the scene to provide assistance.
    Members of Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 stood by at one of Leavenworth's fire stations to handle additional calls in the city. Nietzke said District No. 1 personnel responded to a medical call in the city while Leavenworth firefighters were at the scene on Pawnee Street.
    Nietzke said the cause of the second blaze is undetermined. Investigators were unable to identify a heat source.
    He said it apparently started in the same room as the other fire. He said the second blaze could have been caused by a flare up of the first fire.
    "That's a definite possibility," he said.
    Nietzke estimated the dollar loss of the structure to be between $70,000 and $75,000. He didn't have an estimate for the loss of contents inside the home.

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