TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Fire officials are investigating after crews battled a house fire just north of the Topeka city limits.
Officials say a Shawnee Co. Sheriff's deputy on patrol spotted the house at 3122 NW Topeka Blvd. fully engulfed around 9:30 p.m. Thursday.
The home is located just north of the Menninger Rd. intersection, near Northland Christian Church. At one point the flames were so high, authorities received reports the church, too, might be on fire, but they determined it was just the reflection of the fire in the windows.
Fire officials say a preliminary search of the home found no one inside. They say the house is officially considered vacant, however they acknowledge reports from many neighbors that squatters frequented the property.
They are still investigating to determine a cause or a point of origin and plan to call in the state fire marshals office to assist the investigation.
Fire crews remained on the scene late Thursday to watch for hot spots and flare ups. They also say they are looking in the basement of the home because of reports of spot fires on the basement in the past.
Traffic on NW Topeka Blvd. is blocked from Menninger Rd. to NW 35th while crews respond.
Firefighters from Soldier Township and Topeka Fire were on the scene.