Archive for Thursday, March 8, 2007

Fire damages south Eudora home

March 8, 2007

Two alert passersby prevented a possible tragedy by spotting a burning Ford F-150 truck in front of a residence early Tuesday morning at 1110 East 2200 Road south of Eudora.

The burning vehicle caused an estimated $19,000 worth of damages for homeowner Norma Dixon, according to a Douglas County Sheriff's report. The fire caused $7,000 in damages to the home and $12,000 to the truck, Sheriff's spokeswoman Lt. Kari Wempe said.

"We'd like to send our heartfelt gratitude to Susan Marvil and Colby McMillan," Dixon said. "Each recently moved to Eudora and were heading home from work when they saw the truck was on fire."

Firefighters from Eudora Township Fire Department, Eudora City Fire Department and Wakarusa Township Fire Department responded to the call.

Eudora Township firefighters arrived first and found the garage in flames, Township Fire Chief Barry Larson said.

"It was right at the garage doors. Basically, where the pickup was parked," Larson said.

There were no injuries, but Eudora City Fire Chief Randy Ates said the situation could have been much worse.

"It was very close. A few more minutes and that fire would have been in the house," Ates said. "They are very fortunate someone drove by and saw it and came and banged on the door."

If not stopped, Ates said the flames would have reached where the children in the house were sleeping.

"You can see where it was starting to scorch the sides of the wall," Ates said.

"I'm very impressed with the way Chief Larson and the department could knock it down before it could get any further.

"They actually had the fire out by the time we pulled up," Ates said. "They did the vast majority of the work."

Getting into the garage wasn't difficult, Larson said. Gaining access to the garage's ceiling to put the flames out was more challenging, he said.

"We stopped the fire before it got into the house," Larson said.

"The big challenge was the garage door," Larson said. "It was a smaller garage that housed yard equipment and stuff like that."

The firefighters had to work through the items in the garage while keeping an eye on the door itself, Larson said.

"It always poses a danger because garage doors are unpredictable once heat has gotten to them," he said.

Larson said the occupants including Dixon, her children and her parents evacuated the home. He said Dixon's husband was away on business.

The Wakarusa Township Fire Department added additional water for the Eudora Township firefighters. Ates said the city department helped Eudora Township firefighters clear out smoke from the house and wrap up the work at the scene.

The incident occurred at about 3:30 a.m. and firefighters didn't leave the scene until about 5:15 a.m., Larson said.

After a preliminary investigation, Larson said he believed faulty wiring in the truck caused the fire.

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