Authorities this morning said fires that struck two unoccupied residences Tuesday evening in Douglas County were unrelated and appeared to have started accidentally.
Douglas County Sheriff Loren Anderson today said that investigators have ruled out the possibility of arson in the fires, which were reported at 6:51 p.m. at a rural Big Springs residence and at 9:03 p.m. at a rural Overbrook mobile home.
Anderson said officials have not pinned down the cause of the fires, but suspect factors such as extremely hot weather or electrical problems may have started the blazes.
Sheriff's officers reported that fire caused $15,000 damage to the house located about a half-mile west of Big Springs on U.S. Highway 40. Lecompton firefighters extinguished the blaze, which apparently started in the dining room and living room area of the house.
The occupants, Chuck Henshaw and his family, were in Topeka when the fire started. The fire was reported by a 14-year-old neighbor.
A fire that started in a spare bedroom of the rural Overbrook mobile home, owned by Robert Rose, destroyed the structure and its contents. Total loss was listed at $45,000.
Overbrook firefighters fought the fire, which also was reported by neighbors.