Fire destroyed a home just west of Dundee on Sunday.
The fire started in the basement of the Danny Williams residence at 778 West U.S. 56. Damage to the one-story house was more than $75,000, but the contents were also destroyed, Fire Chief Mike Napolitano said.
After being gone for the weekend, the family was at home when the fire started in a work area where the water heater and furnace were located. They were outside when someone smelled smoke. The fire department got its first call at 2:38 p.m.
Firefighters believe the cause of the fire was accidental; after an investigation the cause was ruled “undetermined but not suspicious,” Napolitano said.
The first crew on the scene reported heavy smoke coming from the eaves and attic area, as the fire had spread throughout the house. They tried to go inside but couldn’t get to the basement area because of the heavy smoke and other safety issues.
“Part of the floor was collapsing at that point,” Napolitano said. “We decided we’d go on a defensive attack and fight the fire from outside ... from the windows.”
With no hydrant available, water had to be carried to the site. Fire departments from Albert, Pawnee Rock and Ellinwood sent tankers.
U.S. 56 had to be shut down for a time because of heavy smoke crossing the highway.
Firefighters were on the scene for several hours, and they had to return to the house at 10:40 p.m. to extinguish a spot fire.