Fire destroys home near Clearwater early Monday morning

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A fire destroyed a home in southwest Sedgwick County early Monday morning. Now, investigators are trying to piece together clues as to what lead up to it.

Around 4 a.m., fire broke out of the home in the 16500th block of 51st street south, just north of west 167th street and K-42. The home is near Clearwater.

When crews arrived, they found smoke and flames ripping through the house, said Doug Williams, Division Chief of the Sedgwick County Fire Department.

Nobody was in the home. At that point, fire fighters started a defensive fire attack.

Williams said the weather became a hurdle for firefighters.

“The main thing we’re dealing with is the cold, and the cold is not only hard on our equipment, but we have a tremendous amount of problems with our lines freezing,” he said. “This extreme weather is hard on the firefighters too. When you’re out in this kind of weather and spraying the amount of water that they’re spraying, they get cold and they get wet. It creates quite a hazard for firefighters in regards to their health.”

Despite this challenge, it would not have changed the outcome. The fire was too far gone for them to save the home, Williams said.

As experts look to see what caused the fire, Williams said a common mistake is when people start using devices like space heaters during winter.

“The main thing in this weather is just to check to make sure you’re doing everything safely and not taxing your heating devices beyond their extremes,” he said.

People should read manufacturer instructions and make sure it won’t overwhelm their electrical units.

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