By Judd Weil
The Dodge City Fire Department and Ford County Fire and EMS responded to a structure fire on the 900 block of Ave. B, on Feb. 7 at around 3:30 a.m.
Upon arrival, units found heavy smoke venting from the attic of a two story family residence and promptly mobilized to search the house and extinguish the fire.
The family had already evacuated from the house by the time first responders arrived.
One individual was treated for smoke inhalation, and no other injuries were reported.
After assessing civilian safety and several minutes of interior operations, the firemen acted on a defensive strategy to combat the actively deteriorating status of the burning house.
Firefighters were recalled from inside the structure as the fire began to spread to the first floor from the attic, where the concentration of the blaze was highest.
It took three hours with almost 20 firefighters and six fire response vehicles to control and put out the fire, but the resulting damage and methods to contain it rendered the structure lost.
“The roof came in and the amount of water we had to use on the fire itself, caused quite a bit of water damage so just about everything in that house was lost and the structure itself as well,” said Fire Department Chief Ken Spencer.
Subsequent investigations as fire crews checked for hot spots began after the fire was put out.
While the prime suspect of the fire cannot be determined yet due to the burn site still being too dangerous to investigate thoroughly, Spencer believes that the fire started in the attic and was caused by old wiring.
“That is preliminary, we are still looking into the cause,” said Spencer. “This is one of the hardest fires you can imagine fighting.”
Spencer said between the cold and the fact the fire was primarily located in the attic, facilitated difficulty fighting it.
Additionally, Casey’s General Store located at 2201 N. 14 Ave, showed their appreciation for their Dodge City and Ford County first responders by providing them with hot coffee on such a frigid morning.
Fire personnel was appreciated by neighborhood individuals as well, who brought them food and hot chocolate.
Spencer said the residents are currently staying with other family and have received aid from the Red Cross so far.