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Archive for Tuesday, July 16, 1996

FIRE DESTROYS RURAL HOUSE

July 16, 1996

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An unattended cigarette in an upstairs room may have caused a fire that destroyed a home and killed two cats Monday afternoon in Big Springs, Douglas County sheriff's officers reported.

Firefighters from Lecompton Township, Kanwaka Township and Tecumseh fire departments were called about 5:15 p.m. to the two-story home at 74 U.S. Highway 40.

The upstairs was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived, said Douglas County sheriff's Sgt. Blake McCall.

The owner's son was the only person home at the time, McCall said. The son called 911 after he heard a crackling sound upstairs.

There were no injuries.

Firefighters were still investigating the cause of the fire Monday night, but McCall said investigators suspect that an unattended cigarette may have started the fire.

The owner of the home, Gary Slater, estimated the value of the home and contents at $55,000.

Officers from the sheriff's department and the Kansas Highway Patrol were called to direct traffic along the highway.

The Douglas County Ambulance Service also was called as a precautionary measure.

Big Springs is 13 miles west of Lawrence on U.S. 40.

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