Archive for Wednesday, October 8, 2003

Probe into house fire continues

October 8, 2003

State and local fire officials are continuing to investigate the cause of an early-morning fire last week that destroyed a home at the northeast corner of Third and Shawnee streets.

"It's still under investigation," said David Bennett, Tonganoxie fire chief. "We haven't received any new information back from the state fire marshal."

No one was home at 303 E. Third St. when the fire broke out about 3 a.m. Sept. 30.

When firefighters arrived, Bennett said, the house was engulfed in flames.

Bennett said it was the first time in his 17 years on the fire department that firefighters could not enter a home to attack the fire -- because of the intensity of the blaze.

The fire also damaged a home next door, owned by Steve and Brenda Firuccia, but that damage was minor. Firefighters doused the home with water to prevent embers from the blaze from spreading.

According to Tom Heinz, 17, his mother, Frances Heinz, and her boyfriend, Allen Miller, lived at the house that was destroyed. Frances Heinz was working, and her boyfriend, who had the day off, was out of town, helping a friend move, said the young Heinz, who had spent that night with his grandparents.

Although no one was injured in the blaze, a family pet did perish.

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