Fire destroys vacant home early Saturday morning


Firefighters, the fire marshal and Parsons police investigated a house fire Saturday morning near 16th and Appleton. The house was destroyed.

Fire destroyed a vacant Parsons home Saturday morning.

Parsons Fire Chief Jay Hawks said the house was vacant and didn’t have gas or electrical service in it. The cause is being investigated by firefighters, police and the Kansas Fire Marshal’s Office.

The alarm came in at 3:33 a.m. Saturday at 707 S. 16th. Parsons firefighters, assisted by Altamont firefighters, had the fire under control within an hour and stayed on scene until 9:42 a.m. Saturday. Parsons police and the Labette Health Ambulance Service also responded.

The two-story home had flames showing throughout but mainly on the southeast side when firefighters arrived.

Hawks said Kansas Fire Marshal Special Agent Michael Tippie was called to investigate because the home had no utilities and was unoccupied. He said the origin is not known, but the bulk of the fire damage was on the southeast side of the structure near a carport, which was consumed in the fire.

Tippie will determine the cause after the samples he removed from the scene return from the lab, Hawks said.

The home was considered a total loss. The Labette County Appraiser’s website shows that Merlin Pauler Jr. owns the house, which was valued at $20,000 and was not insured.

On April 22, someone set a car on fire that was parked near the carport about 9:30 p.m. The car’s owner, Kimberly Callahan, told the Sun she was at the vacant home checking on pets. Hawks didn’t know if the pets were still in the house. He said a couple of pets were outside the home when firefighters were there, but he didn’t know if they were from the house or the neighborhood.

The April 22 fire was suspicious because grass leading up to the car had been burning and a plastic gas can was recovered to the west of the car in the grass near the alley.

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