Archive for Monday, August 24, 1998


August 24, 1998


Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical personnel were investigating the cause of a fire that gutted the second floor and much of the first floor of a home under renovation.

Firefighters and paramedics at 11:18 p.m. Sunday were called to the home at 1605 Tenn.

``The entire second floor was engulfed (with flames) and part of the first floor was engulfed,'' said LDCF&M; Battalion Chief Jerry Karr.

``And that was when we just arrived,'' he said. ``Very unusual.''

A crowd of several dozen people watched as fire and medical crews used a 100-foot aerial ladder truck, pumper truck and ground crews with hoses to extinguish the fire.

The fire was declared under control at 11:34 p.m., Karr said.

Karr speculated that the home was at least 60 to 80 years old.

No one was living in the structure and officials had no reason to believe that anyone was inside, Karr said.

Firefighters early this morning were still putting out hot spots in the home.

``There's so much structural damage, we can't send people in to do a secondary search,'' Karr said.

Karr declined to characterize the cause of the fire as suspicious, saying he didn't know whether utilities had been connected to it.

``There's still a lot of questions that have to be answered,'' he said.

A sign in front of the building called the structure ``Melrose Court.'' The property owner on the sign was a Lawrence company called First Management.

-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is

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