Fire ravages Marion home

One of the oldest houses in Marion has been damaged by a fire that hit last week. Patty Decker/Free Press
One of the oldest houses in Marion has been damaged by a fire that hit last week. Patty Decker/Free Press

One of Marion’s oldest homes, which played a big part in the city’s historical past, caught fire Monday, Sept. 3.

Fire chief Mike Regnier said the fire, reported at about 9:30 p.m., caused extensive damage to the attic and roof of the one and one-half story structure at 205 N. Lincoln.

In addition to Marion firefighters, Hillsboro and Peabody fire departments responded as part of the Kansas Fire Service Mutual Air Plan, he said.

Regnier said the house is owned by Jeff (and Kathy) Inlow of Florence, and believed it was a rented out at the time of the blaze.

Marion City Administrator Roger Holter said he was thankful there were no injuries to the occupants or firefights from Hillsboro, Marion and Peabody.

“It’s unfortunate when our community loses part of its past,” he said. “The home was once owned by the 17th governor of Kansas, Edward Hoch.”

One of the oldest houses in Marion has been damaged by a fire that hit last week. Patty Decker / Free Press
One of the oldest houses in Marion has been damaged by a fire that hit last week. Patty Decker / Free Press

Regarding how the fire started, Regnier said he didn’t have that answer because the Kansas Fire Marshal is investigating, which is “standard operating procedure” whenever there’s a structure fire.

Regnier emphasized that just because the state is handling the case, should in no way mean that the blaze was suspicious.

Along with its historical value, the 2,346 square footage house was built in the late 1800s, he said, and was probably among the very first homes built in Marion.

Regnier said the Marion crew stayed at the site until about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, but released the other two departments prior to that time.

According to the Kansas State Association of Fire Chiefs, the reason the mutual aid plan was enacted was in providing local fire officials with easy access to many fire service resources.

Stated in the plan, the idea was based on a series of observed occurrences and shared experiences.