Fire Heavily Damages Valley Center Home

By: Phil White Email
By: Phil White Email

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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Three people escaped injury when their Valley Center home caught fire just as they were preparing to go to bed late Friday night.

The fire was reported a little before midnight in the 200 block of east Third Street, said Valley Center Fire Capt. Derek Pierce.

"They were just preparing to go to bed when the wife looked outside and saw a glow," Pierce said. "The husband went outside and saw a fire around the chimney chase. He grabbed a garden hose, but the garden hose was frozen. They called 911."

The couple and their son were safely outside of the house by the time firefighters arrived to find flames coming from the roof of the house, Pierce said.

Firefighters also found fire in the attic, but quickly brought it under control.

"We knew it had gotten into the attic, but we didn't know how far until they pulled ceilings," Pierce said. "Luckily it didn't stretch to the other side of the house."

Pierce said the fire centered around a wood-burning fireplace in the house, but he said the Kansas Fire Marshall's Office will determine the official cause. He estimated the damage to be between $45,000 and $50,000.

"This is the house I grew up in so this is tough," said Shawn White, who lives in the home. "I've never seen it like this. I've never had a house fire. It's something you definitely can't plan on. It just kind of happens."

Despite the damage, White says his family is lucky. The fire didn't get everything.

"It could have been a lot worse. It all could have gone up in flames," White said. "Everybody got out safe. So, it went as well as it could have."

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