Fire Rips Again Through Same Area That Damaged 1500 Acres

By: WIBW (Justin Surrency, Carissa Fox, Ariana Cohen)
By: WIBW (Justin Surrency, Carissa Fox, Ariana Cohen)
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)__ Still no rest for area fire crews; dry and windy conditions have had them working nonstop battling grass fires.

One of them Monday afternoon was in the same area where a dozen area fire departments fought a massive fire Sunday.

Stephen Kuhn's home sits in the middle of where 1,500 acres burned Sunday afternoon.

24 hours later, fire crews headed to the same area again.

Around 1 Monday afternoon, fire crews rushed to a grass fire in the 6400 block of Humphrey Road. This time, they quickly got the flames under control before they could do much damage.

But Sunday, fire blackened more than 1500 acres from just south of here to the 7800 block

"It was pretty surreal because it moved so fast," said Kuhn.

Stefan's home was right in its path.

"There was a lot of smoke and the fire and the heat. The fire had already gone around house and spread to 66th street. I was worried about the family, worried about the house," said Kuhn.

Firefighters helped Stefan's wife and kids evacuate, but he stayed put.

"I wanted to save the house and the shop obviously. I had a garden hose and a tank sprayer on the back of my 4-wheeler. Any little bit at that time seemed like the thing to do," said Stefan.

Shawnee County Emergency Management Coordinator Dave Sterbenz says everyone needs to be cautious.

"It's so dry right now that anything can start a fire, so people really need to be careful. You know it may have started from a spark from a a previous fire, someone may have left a cigarette, you just never know until the report comes out," said Sterbenz.

Stefan says he is grateful he and his family made it out alive.

"As long as the family is alright, "says Stefan.

Stefan's home had only minor damage -- a few melted shingles.
The woman who owns the home that was destroyed told 13 News no one was living in it right now.

No one was hurt in either Sunday or Monday's fire. The cost of all the damage is still being added up.

Despite spring like weather, fire crews seem to be working around the clock to tame the flames popping up across much of Northeast Kansas.

Authorities are saying one fire in the 6000 to 7800 block of Northwest Humphreys in Silver Lake has burned more than 1500 acres.

There have been no injuries reported. The fire happened around 12:30 Sunday afternoon and two homes have been destroyed along with four other structures or out buildings.

Crews from Mayetta, Shawnee Heights, Hoyt, Silver Lake, Rossville, Auburn, Delia, Mission, Mayetta, 190th ARW and St Mary's, along with Shawnee County Emergency Management were also on the scene.

Sheriff Herman Jones said that Sheriff Deputies were able to respond quickly and evacuate people from homes that were being threatened by the fires.


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