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Archive for Tuesday, May 18, 1999

INVESTIGATIVE SQUAD MAY PROBE HOUSE FIRE

May 18, 1999

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— Some hot spots still were active Monday morning at the scene of a house fire just west of Eudora.

With the smell of smoke still hanging in the air Monday, detectives from the Douglas County Sheriff's Department interviewed the owners of a home that was gutted by fire.

Although authorities say the Sunday-night blaze might be suspicious -- the unoccupied home on East 2100 Road was off the beaten path -- Sheriff Loren Anderson stopped short of activating the multijursidictional Douglas County Fire Investigation Squad.

"We haven't determined enough suspicion to merit that activation," Anderson said Monday afternoon.

Robert Trapp and Steve Bogler, both of Kansas City, Mo., own the two-story home at 1393 E. 2100 Rd.

"I don't know for sure," Bogler said when asked if he had any ideas about how the fire might have started. "We're going now for an interview with detectives from the sheriff's office."

Trapp said early Monday evening that investigators had not pinpointed a cause but had raised the old electrical system as a possible origin.

Little is left of the home, nestled in a wooded area west of Eudora.

"There's some floor joisting left on the top deck, but other than that there's no walls or roof or anything like that," Eudora Township Fire Chief Carl Friedrich said.

Yellow caution tape surrounded the house, which was undergoing extensive remodeling.

"We still had fire inside the house this morning," said Lawrence Fire Marshal Rich Barr. "They were still doing suppression efforts."

Flames had engulfed the home when firefighters responded about 8:15 p.m. Larry and Lori Dalrymple, who live just north of the home, at 2102 N. 1400 Road, called 911 when they saw smoke and flames.

Eudora Township was assisted at the scene by firefighters from the city of Eudora Fire Department, Wakarusa Township and Johnson County Fire District No. 3 in DeSoto. Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical and Eudora EMS ambulances were at the scene.

About 35 firefighters and paramedics responded to the fire.

Authorities did not release a damage estimate Monday.

-- Deb Gruver's phone message number is 832-7165. Her e-mail address is dgruver@ljworld.com.



SNIFFING FOR CLUES

The Douglas County Fire Investigation Squad is a multijurisdictional team made up of staff members from Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical, Lawrence Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff's Department and Kansas University Police.

In place about 15 years, the squad investigates large-loss, fatal, injury and suspicious fires, Lawrence Fire Marshal Rich Barr said.

The last time the squad was called out was in February for a fire at the Lawrence Athletic Club.

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