Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir reports that three structure fires in the county in the past three days were all related to heating.
The most serious of these fires occurred at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday, Bellendir reported. Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to 789 East K-4 near Claflin.
“Upon arrival firefighters and deputies discovered a house fully involved. Investigation at the scene indicated that the house was not occupied at the time of the fire but the tenants had been using wood-burning equipment to keep the structure warm. The residence was a total loss.”
At 11:40 a.m. on Friday, deputies responded to a structure fire south of Hoisington at 672 Barton Ave. and at 5:05 p.m. on Saturday there was a fire just north of Great Bend at 11 NE 30 Road. “Both of these fires caused substantial damage to the residences and were heating related,” Bellendir said.
Safe heating tips
The Federal Emergency Management Agency reports home fires occur more in the winter months than any other time of the year. FEMA offers these tips to prevent winter fires and to stay safe this winter season:
• Keep anything than can burn at least 3 feet from all heat sources including fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, space heaters or candles.
• Never use an oven to heat your home.
• Turn space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
• Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected each year by a professional.
Fatal fire in Chase
CHASE — One man died and a woman was injured early Saturday in a structure fire in the 400 block of Sunderland Street in Chase, Rice County Sheriff Bryant Evans said.
Beverly Boatright, 66, was pronounced dead at the scene and Andrea Dry, 59, was taken to a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. The family dog also died in the fire, Evans said. The home was a total loss.
Rice County officials were notified around midnight on Friday night. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.