A barn burned to the ground Wednesday afternoon in northwest Douglas County.
About 3:30 p.m., firefighters from Kanwaka, Wakarusa, Clinton and Lecompton townships responded to the call of a structure fire at 1700 block of East 400 Road near the Kansas Turnpike.
Kanwaka Deputy Fire Chief Bob Rombach said that the property owner had been mowing the lawn in preparation for Thanksgiving and had parked his lawn tractor in the three-story 1920s-era barn. As he turned the mower off, it backfired.
“Unfortunately he parked it next to some hay,” Rombach said. “It lit up unexpectedly quickly.”
Firefighters were able to put out the fire about 7 p.m. Wednesday, but Rombach said the barn a total loss. No one was injured in the fire.