Christmas Day fires destroys Marion home

Fire destroyed the house at 221 Garfield St. in Marion Christmas Day, but no one was injured in the blaze, according to Marion Fire Chief Mike Regnier.

Jack Branson, who rented the house from Eldon Hett of Marion, was inside the structure when the fire broke out.

?We were paged at 2:53 p.m. after a neighbor called it in,? Regnier said.

Based on the age of the house and the location of where the fire started, Regnier said the cause could have been an electrical short in the attic wiring.

The fire spread through the attic, causing the roof to cave in, resulting in major damage to the main living area.

According to Regnier, a lot of items were hauled out of the house before smoke and fire made it impossible to retrieve additional belongings.

Eleven Marion volunteer firefighters and two pumper trucks extinguished the blaze in about three hours, he said.

The Kansas State Fire Marshal?s office was called, but because the fire was not suspicious, Regnier said he doesn?t think state officials will investigate.

Mutual aid was not requested at the scene, Regnier added.

Branson reportedly was in another house within days after the fire.

Kirby Rector at Circle D Corp. in Hillsboro, which is where Branson works, said a lot of co-workers have helped with items Branson needed following the fire.

Among the items given to Branson by other employees were bedroom furniture, a couch and chairs.

Friends in Marion have collected money to help him with smaller items, such as canned goods, cleaning supplies, kitchen and bathroom accessories and more.

Although Branson did have insurance, Rector said it can take time to itemize losses and receive compensation.

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