Fire destroys two homes

By Ginger G. Golden
Derby Informer – April 2, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – April 9, 2014

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A fire Monday afternoon has destroyed two homes in Derby, causing an estimated $3000,000 in damage to the structures.

The fire started at 1600 E Cresthill Rd., when a lawnmower backfired and caught lawn furniture and grass on fire, just before 3 p.m. on Monday, according to Fire Chief Brad Smith. When firefighters arrived, high winds and low humidity had created the perfect conditions for quickly spreading fire and a home at 1606 E. Cresthill also caught fire.

One individual in the first house sustained burns to his hands and face from attempting to put out the fire. He drove to his doctor and was also checked for smoke inhalation. No one was in the second house when it caught fire, Smith said.

Smith could not verify property owners’ names, but records show Gary A. Kilian is the owner of the home at 1600 E. Cresthill and Dwain and Karen Diehl are owners at 1606 E. Cresthill.

An elderly woman was evacuated from a third house to the east as a precaution due to the danger of the rapidly spreading fire and the heavy smoke.

“She was having some breathing problems,” Smith said. “She’s OK.”

Embers were also blown across the street and started two grass fires. They were spotted quickly and put out, he said.

The fire was put out in under two hours and by mid-evening firefighters were mopping up and preparing to leave. Fire crews assisting Derby at the scene were Sedgwick County, which sent an engine and a ladder truck, and Mulvane Fire, which sent two trucks and seven firefighters. Sedgwick County EMS also was at the scene.

“Thankfully the wind is not as strong as what it was, it’s calmed down a little bit,” Smith said.

Gwen Romine, KSFFA Webmaster