A Baldwin fire that began as an unattended candle resulted in a house scorched top to bottom after mishaps delayed firefighters' response Monday.
The mishaps began when Douglas County dispatched fire and medical crews to the 900 block of Indiana Street in Lawrence.
But when the crews arrived at the address, everything seemed to be fine - the house certainly wasn't on fire.
By the time emergency responders realized that the fire was at Ninth and Indiana streets in Baldwin, not Lawrence, the candle-fueled fire had engulfed the top of the two-story house, said Baldwin firefighter Lt. Brian Craig, who was first on the scene.
"The hallway and the floor were gone," Craig said. "We backed out of there."
Craig and his crew quickly tried to attach a hose to the fire hydrant just 30-or-so feet from the blazing house.
But when they opened the hydrant up, a valve was broken, blasting water into the sky like a fountain. The hydrant wouldn't work, Craig said, so they had to search nearly two blocks up the street to find water to fill the hose.
"It's frustrating. It's a bad deal," Baldwin Fire Chief Allen Craig said.
By the time fire crews were in place fighting the blaze effectively, the house was a total loss, firefighter Craig said.
The house, owned by William Scotts, was valued at $123,000, according to county records.
Chief Craig said although the broken hydrant was frustrating, he didn't think the city could do much about it. Many of the hydrants on the south side of Baldwin were too old to be checked, so he and his crew will simply hope it doesn't happen again.
"We'll just take our chances," he said.