Fire displaces Iraq veteran

By Mary Meyers
Atchison Globe – May 2, 2018
Submitted by Newz Group – May 18, 2018

A rural Cummings woman is displaced after her home was destroyed by a weekend fire and deemed a total loss.

Joelen “Jo” Ricketts was not at home when fire engulfed her mobile residence at 13266 242nd Road, Sheriff Jack Laurie reported to the Globe.

Ricketts, an Iraq War veteran, said although she lost her personal belongings, her pet dog and cat escaped injury. The fire did singe the cat’s whiskers, Ricketts said.

“I am humbled by all the support I’ve gotten,” Ricketts said in a May 1 phone interview.

Ricketts said she is able to temporarily reside in the neighborhood at her boyfriend Randy Schmalstieg’s residence, but is currently looking for property to relocate to and call her own on a more permanent basis, where she can reside and tend to her livestock.

“It has been very overwhelming,” Ricketts said of her unexpected ordeal.

The incident was reported about 1 a.m. April 28 by a neighboring family member, who Ricketts identified as her sister-in-law, Tammy Ricketts.

Chief Kenny Frost, Nortonville Fire District, said volunteer firefighters from Nortonville Fire District No. 12 were in command at the scene of the structure fire. Lancaster Fire District No. 5 and Mt. Pleasant Fire District No. 4 volunteers also responded to assist as mutual aid.

Frost and Laurie agreed the fire was accidental in nature due to an electrical cause. Laurie reported the fire originated in a back bedroom and there is no criminal investigation.

Firefighters remained on the scene until 5 a.m. until Kansas State Fire Marshal authorities arrived, Frost said. The Fire Marshal concurred with the preliminary findings that the ignition was electrical. Ricketts trailer was located in the Pardee community.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page
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