Fire destroys house near Basehor
Access problems to rural property slow firefighters’ work
A blaze last Wednesday destroyed a rural Leavenworth County home and a camping trailer.
Al Goens, chief of Fairmount Township Fire Department, said the fire was reported shortly after 8 a.m. at 19781 167th St., which is owned by Richard and Mira Graham.
"The homeowner had left at 7:30 a.m., and one of my firemen had noticed smoke around that area at about a quarter till eight," Goens said.
When the fire department was notified, the house was reportedly already fully involved, Goens said.
"When we got there, the whole north end, about a third of it, was gone," Goens said.
Goens said access to the property, which has a long winding driveway, was difficult.
"We had to cut a post down at a gate to even get a fire truck in," Goens said.
Goens estimated it took about five minutes to cut down the post.
"Then we had to go across a creek and make two 90-degree turns," Goens said. "It was at least a quarter-mile from Parallel to the residence."
Damage was estimated at $200,000 for the house and $3,000 for the camping trailer. Goens estimated the age of the house at five years, and said the cause of the fire was under investigation by the state fire marshal.
When the call first came in, Goens said firefighters were told one person could not be accounted for.
"But that party was accounted for by the time we got on scene," he said.
The Stranger Township Fire Department assisted in fighting the blaze, and Sherman Township Fire Department was on standby, Goens said.