Archive for Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tonganoxie firefighters douse house fire on Delaware Street

A firefighter with the city of Tonganoxie Fire Department sprays down the south side of a house Thursday at 905 Delaware Street after a fire, which apparently started in a compost pile, threatened that house and one to the south.

A firefighter with the city of Tonganoxie Fire Department sprays down the south side of a house Thursday at 905 Delaware Street after a fire, which apparently started in a compost pile, threatened that house and one to the south.

October 20, 2011

Tonganoxie close call provides warning

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Firefighters douse fire Thursday on Delaware Street that apparently started in compost pile Enlarge video

A close call Tuesday provided a cautionary tale to homeowners as dry conditions persist.

About 1:30 p.m. Thursday, the Tonganoxie Fire Department responded to a fire in the 900 block of Delaware Street

Tonganoxie Fire Chief Dave Bennett said the fire probably started from spontaneous combustion in a compost pile on the north side of a house at 911 Delaware St. and spread to the house next door at 905 Delaware St. Occupants of the homes were gone at the time of the fire, Bennett said.

A UPS delivery driver reported the fire, Bennett said. Firefighters arrived on the scene to find a woodpile, leaves and bush burning and fire licking against the south wall of the 905 Delaware house and the paint on the siding burning.

The fire was extinguished before it could do further damage.

“We were five or 10 minutes from a full-blown structure fire,” the fire chief said. “We were lucky. We got really lucky on this one.”

Bennett recommended homeowners water down brush and compost piles periodically in the absence of significant rainfall.

The city recently started approving burn permits, Bennett said. That would probably end with Thursday’s fire until the city receives significant rain.

“It was a wake-up call to all of us,” he said.

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