Archive for Friday, October 2, 2009

Fire near historic Constitution Hall had firefighters worried

Investigators say a fire Thursday in Lecompton was accidental, and narrowly missed setting a historical building alight.

October 2, 2009


Fire breaks out Thursday at 315 Elmore in Lecompton.

Fire breaks out Thursday at 315 Elmore in Lecompton.

A fire Thursday afternoon damaged a Lecompton duplex and displaced at least one resident.

Lecompton residents also were nervous Thursday because the duplex is next to Constitution Hall, but firefighters kept the historic building from being damaged, said H. Wayne Riley, chief of Lecompton Fire-EMS.

Flames were reported at 4 p.m. at 315 Elmore St., and firefighters had the blaze under control at 5:15 p.m. Both residents of the duplex were able to get out safely, Riley said.

The fire originated in a corner of the duplex near the furnace and water heater. Riley said investigators have determined the fire was an accident, but they have not pinned down an exact cause.

The side of the duplex where the fire originated is a total loss, Riley said. The other side sustained smoke damage. According to county records, the property is valued at $67,000.

Jane Blocher, executive director of the Douglas County chapter of the American Red Cross, said the resident of the severely damaged side of the duplex was now staying with a friend. Anyone who wants to donate clothing for the woman can call the Red Cross at 843-3550.

Blocher said the woman got one of her cats out of the duplex, but another did not survive.

Crews from Wakarusa and Kanwaka townships also responded as well as Kentucky Township firefighters from Jefferson County.


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