Liberal FIre Chief Kelly Kirk surveys the progress of firefighters dousing a basement fire at 708 E. Spruce St. Sunday afternoon. Kirk said in a press release Monday, “This fire is being investigated as suspicious in nature."
By LARRY PHILLIPS
• Leader & Times
After knocking down a house fire in 23 minutes Sunday, firefighters are now investigating its cause, declaring, “This fire is being investigated as suspicious in nature,” according to a statement released at 11:25 a.m. Monday by Liberal Fire Chief Kelly Kirk.
“At 11:54 a.m. Sunday, Liberal firefighters were called to the scene of a residential structure fire at 708 E. Spruce St.,” Kirk reported. “First units on scene noted heavy smoke venting from a basement escape window as well as the eaves and doors.”
The first unit arrived at 11:57, according to Kirk and initially attacked the fire through the escape window.
“The residence was reported to be vacant, but secondary (water) hose lines were also advanced into the first floor and down the stairs to ensure that there were no unknown occupants present,” Kirk noted. “The residence was vacant at the time of the fire and no civilian or firefighter injuries were reported.
“The entire residence suffered extensive smoke and heat damage,” Kirk reported, even though the fire was contained to the basement.
“The fire was determined to have originated in a basement room, and the exact cause is still under investigation,” Kirk noted. “This fire is being investigated as suspicious in nature.”
A total of 15 firefighters fought the fire, Kirk reported, and it was declared under control at 12:20 p.m.
“Units cleared the scene at 2:52 p.m. Also assisting at the fire were the Liberal Police Department, Seward County EMS and Seward County Sheriff,” he added.
Anyone with any information about this fire is encouraged to contact either the Liberal Fire Department at 626-0128 or the Liberal Police Department at 626-0144.