Archive for Thursday, August 10, 2000

Investigation continues into Eudora house fires

August 10, 2000

Local and state officials continue trying to determine the cause of a March 12 house fire. Taking advantage of resources available at the Kansas State Fire Marshall's Office, key items in the investigation have been taken to the Topeka office for further study.

"We're still working on it," said Greg Dahlem, Eudora police sergeant. "Everything we're doing now is in Topeka. We've moved to Topeka and we're working out of their office now simply because there's so many more resources there."

Dahlem and State Fire Marshall Dick Blevins have worked together on the investigation since the March 12 fire. It was the third fire inside the west Eudora house within two months.

Dahlem said many interviews concerning the fires needed to be transcribed. By using staff in the state office, the time for transcription of the taped interviews would be reduced. Other items taken from the home, which were not disclosed, would be studied to determine the cause of the fire.

"It helps out a lot. There's more resources out of their office because this is what they do," Dahlem said. "They investigate fire and there's so many more things we can do out of their office."

Dahlem said no real estimate could be given on when the case will be closed, but hopes it will be soon.

"We've got kind of an idea, but I really can't say," Dahlem said.

Studying the frequency of the fires has also contributed to the prolonged investigation, Dahlem said.

"This is an unusual investigation because there's been so many fires in the same house," Dahlem said. "We've got to make sure that what we've got is a fire investigation and not a crime."

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