Fire destroys vacant rural home



Hillsboro firefighters couldn?t save a vacant farm house about two miles south on Kanza Road Monday that was destroyed when a tree branch hit a live electrical service line leading to the structure.

Ben Steketee, Hillsboro fire chief, said his department got the call about 12:45 p.m., but by the time firefighters arrived, more than 70 percent of the house was already reduced to ashes.

?We didn?t put any water on the structure,? he said, ?but we did want to control the area near a fuel and propane tank (by the house).?

Responding to the blaze, Steketee said, were 12 firefighters, Marion County Emergency Medical Service, Hillsboro EMS, the Marion County Sheriff?s office and Dan D?Albini with Emergency Management.

In addition, he said, the department brought its rural pumper truck, tanker and two brush trucks carrying more than 3,000 gallons of water if needed.


?We wanted to be prepared for what could happen,? he said.

Although the fire leveled the two-story, wooden structure?which Steketee estimated as being about 3,000 square feet? three other outbuildings came through unscathed.

Steketee said in checking with the Marion County appraiser, the location, designated as ag use, was valued at about $8,000.

About two hours after arriving, Steketee said he turned the scene back over to the owner, Brad Wiens, to supervise the dying fire.

Steketee estimated the fire probably started 10 minutes before they were on scene, based on the dry conditions.

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