Archive for Friday, September 21, 1990


September 21, 1990


What firefighters believe was an accidental fire swept through a northwest Lawrence home Thursday evening, causing an estimated $35,000 damage.

Firefighters were called at 7:55 p.m. Thursday to the home, located at 537 Lawrence Ave., and saw flames and heavy smoke coming from a northwest bedroom on the second floor when they arrived.

Three engine companies and a ladder crew were sent to the residence.

The fire was declared under control at 8:17 p.m.

Paul Rogers, the owner of the house, said he and his wife were watching television downstairs about the time the fire started. Rogers said his wife was taking a load of laundry upstairs when she saw the fire.

The Rogers, who have lived in the house for 20 years, were able to get out of the house unhurt. They stayed at a motel overnight.

Rogers said the second floor of the house "was pretty well engulfed" and that the main floor was damaged by smoke and water.

He said the fire apparently began in an upholstered chair in the bedroom.

Lawrence Fire Chief Jim McSwain said this morning that investigators have not determined the cause of the blaze. However, he said, they have narrowed the scope of their probe to "two or three accidental causes."

Thursday's fire was the second major blaze firefighters extinguished within 24 hours.

At 11:08 p.m. Wednesday, an electrical short ignited a wall in a vacant house at 1305 W. Fourth, touching off a fire that caused about $15,000 to the home and $75 damage to a doctor's office located nearby.

Firefighters found the house engulfed in flames when they arrived four minutes later. Heat from the house fire damaged a wall of the office of Dr. George Learned, located at 401 Ark.

Fire department reports indicated that Learned was also the owner of the vacant house.

Firefighters declared the blaze under control at 11:29 p.m. No one was hurt.

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