Archive for Thursday, January 31, 2002

Firefighters battle city’s first working fire of 2002

January 31, 2002

Renovations to a historic home made fighting a Friday afternoon fire there more difficult, said Fire Chief Spencer McCabe.

Area firefighters arrived about 4 p.m. Jan. 25 to a century-old home in the 600 block of Locust, which now houses two apartments.

A cigarette thrown from the second-floor balcony onto a first-floor overhang started the blaze, which was Eudora's first working fire in 2002.

"The fire originated on the outside, but because of the age of the structure and the way it was built, the fire spread quickly to a wall and into the attic," McCabe said. "They'd modified that ceiling in a few different ways and in a few different locations."

Although he wasn't exactly certain when the fire was under control, McCabe said the roof and attic area complicated battling the blaze.

"It seemed like it took us quite a while," he said.

Assistance from area departments meant about 35 firefighters arrived.

"We needed the manpower in order to rotate people and not to exhaust our personnel," McCabe said.

A passerby told the upstairs occupants the home was on fire. Police Chief Bill Long said several other neighbors reported the fire as well.

They upstairs occupants left the scene uninjured. The downstairs occupants weren't home at the time, but firefighters managed to rescue their pet dog. The occupants are staying with friends and family.

McCabe estimated the fire caused $35,000 in damage but couldn't say whether the home would be a total loss.

"That will depend upon the insurance company and the owner," he said. "To rebuild it they will have to be built to current codes and standards."

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