Fire damages Guard House

Ellsworth County Independent Reporter – October 24, 2013
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – October 28, 2013

kanopolis fire 10282013

The Fort Harker Guard House Museum didn’t receive significant damage during an October 18 fire–thanks in part to actions taken by Kanopolis mayor Cherie Sauers and her husband, Marty–both members of the Kanopolis Fire Department.

Sauers, who is also the president of the Ellsworth County Historical Society, owner of the property, was notified at about 11:30 p.m. She and Marty were among the first on the scene. As Marty shut off power to the building, Sauers began battling the fire with a sweatshirt.

Sauers said two unknown young people were driving by the museum, saw fire, and called authorities.

“Thank heaven for those two kids, and the Kanopolis Fire Department,” she said. “Without them, we could have lost the building.”

Sauers said the fire was caused by old electrical siring running down one of the building’s outside pillars into an electrical junction box in the balcony floor. Damage is limited to the southeast corner of the balcony, in the pillar, the balcony’s floorboards, and facia.

The interior of the museum was not damaged.

“It wasn’t bad, and it never got bad,” Sauers said.

Firefighters arrived on scene in under two minutes. Kanopolis Fire Chief Matt Munoz estimated the damage to be between $1,000 and $1,500.

“We’ve got to rewire these old buildings,” Sauers said.

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