Fire destroys home in Pratt Tuesday afternoon

By Gale Rose
Pratt Tribune – November 25, 2015

pratt fire 11242015

Pratt firefighters Lee Van Slyke (standing) and Jarod Gilmore

An investigator from the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s office has been called in to determine which of two possible sources started a fire Tuesday afternoon in Pratt that caused extensive damage to a house and caused the loss of two dogs and three cats, said Pratt Fire Chief David Kramer.
The two possible causes for the fire are a space heater that was found tipped over and was face down on the floor in the living room. There was also an old gas fed fireplace that had been capped off but there were valves and fittings near the tipped over space heater.
There is evidence that natural gas fed the flames but it was difficult to determine if it was the space heater or the gas line that started the fire in the first place.
Kramer said determining which source stated the fire was the only reason the fire marshal was called in to investigate. There is no criminal activity associated with the fire, it is just an accident, Kramer said.
A daughter of the homeowner of 224 Cambridge Drive came home, found the house full of smoke saw the heater face down on the floor. The resident was unable to enter the home and went next door to get help.
Firefighters had the initial fire knocked down quickly but it had already burned its way through the floor leaving a two feet square hole, it had burned up inside the wall setting the insulation on fire creating a lot of smoke and fire damage in the living room and heavy smoke damage throughout the house for about $50,000 in damages, Kramer said.
After about an hour the firefighters were starting to put their equipment away when they discovered more burning insulation inside a wall and had to go into the wall to put out the fire.
The firefighters had a good response and had the fire out quickly.
“We had an excellent response and attack on the fire,” Kramer said. “The guys did a great job.”
Sadly, the firefighters were unable to save two dogs and three cats that had been in the house at the time of the fire, Kramer said.
Fire fighters were on scene for about three hours.

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