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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Fire starts in storage area

  • A fire this morning at an east Leavenworth residence resulted in an estimated $70,000 worth of damage, a Fire Department official said.
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  • A fire this morning at an east Leavenworth residence resulted in an estimated $70,000 worth of damage, a Fire Department official said.
    The fire was reported around 1 a.m. today at 603 N. Esplanade St. There were no reports of injuries from the fire, but a firefighter came into contact with poison ivy at the scene, according to Capt. Shawn Kell with the Leavenworth Fire Department.
    The fire started in a storage area on the west side of the house.
    "It was connected to the house," Kell said of the storage area. "It was an add-on area."
    Two people were at the residence, which is a single-story rental property, at the time of the fire. One of the occupants was sleeping near a window. He was awakened by what was described as a tapping sound on glass.
    "He thought it was possibly hail," Kell said.
    The man apparently looked out the window and saw an orange glow from the fire. He tried to use a garden hose to extinguish the fire, but the hose apparently wasn't working. Kell said it's possible a portion of the hose already had melted.
    Both occupants safely got out of the house. One of the occupants tried to call 911 but the phone wasn't working.
    Kell said someone else ultimately called 911.
    Heavy flames could be seen from the west side of the house when firefighters arrived on scene. Kell said firefighters had the fire under control within an hour.
    "It did get into the main structure of the house," Kell said of the fire.
    He said the fire made its way to an attic space. He said there was fire damage to the ceiling of the house and smoke damage throughout the home.
    Kell said compost material located outside the house near the storage area caught fire.
    He said a gas meter for the home also was damaged by heat.
    "We had to get it shut off," Kell said.
    He said the $70,000 damage estimate is equal to an estimated value of the house and its contents.
    Temporary lodging for the occupants was arranged through the local Red Cross.
    Kell said the cause of the fire is still undetermined
    "There's multiple things that couldn't be ruled out," he said.
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