Derby Hills home damaged by fire

By Linda Stinnett
Derby Informer – March 19, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – March 24, 2014

derby fire 3242014

A fire shortly after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 12, caused at least $75,000 in damage to a Derby Hills Drive home.

The fire, at 115 E. Derby Hills Drive, was reported at 5:03 p.m., according to Deputy Fire Chief Bill Pater. He said the first report came from a neighbor on Overlook, behind the house. The majority of the damage is to the back of the home and the attic and roof area.

The fire is believed to have started from a discarded cigarette on the back deck, Pater said.

Fire crews were able to see smoke and flames coming from the roof when they arrived, but they got in quickly and pulled ceilings to get to the fire, he said. That helped stop the spread of the fire to other areas of the home, but Pater said as much as 8 Percent of the roof area burned.

There are five residents of the home, but no one was home when the fire was reported. Firefighters first on the scene thought someone might still be in the home, according to Fire Chief Brad Smith. A thorough search revealed no one was home, he said.

Two dogs and four cats were in the home and all survived, too, Pater said.

Fire crews were on scene until just after 8 p.m., Smith said.

The residents of the home are the David and Robin Dean family. Robin said the family believes they can salvage some of their possessions because the fire was contained to one corner of the home.

The Deans are now staying with family and friends, Smith said.

The nearly 1,200 square foot house is owned by Billie C. Woodruff and, according to county records, is valued at just under $120,000.

Why so many fire trucks?

Deputy Fire Chief Bill Pater said Derby has five firefighters on duty at all times. It takes more manpower than that with a large fire to operate trucks and hoses, provide search and rescue and be prepared for rapid intervention in case a firefighter gets in trouble on the scene.

Fire units from Derby, Sedgwick County Fire District No. 1 and Mulvane responded to the scene on March 12. Under the latest automatic aid agreements between the departments, other fire agencies are asked to respond as quickly as a structure fire is reported.

“You’ll see their trucks and equipment more often and a lot quicker,” Pater said. “It greatly helps.”

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster