• Last modified 1197 days ago (March 10, 2021)


House fire believed started by faulty electrical system

Staff writer

A fire that damaged a Hillsboro house in the early morning hours of Friday is believed to have started in the kitchen wiring.

Hillsboro fire chief Ben Steketee said firefighters were called to the fire at 312 S. Birch St. in Hillsboro about 1:30 a.m. Hillsboro, Marion and Durham firefighters all responded.

Steketee said the occupant of the home told him he was awake and heard the crackling of a fire. He found the fire under his kitchen sink and tried to put it out.

A neighbor called 911.

Steketee said the fire did major damage to the kitchen and spread to the exterior of the home. When firefighters arrived, they found the man outside spraying the north side of the house with a garden hose.

“The kitchen is going to have to be completely redone,” Steketee said.

The fire burned through the kitchen ceiling and into the attic, he said.

“We did get it knocked down pretty quickly,” Steketee said.

Fire marshal Chris Mercer was called to investigate the fire.

“His preliminary findings are ‘undetermined,’ but he suspects it was electrical,” Steketee said.

Mercer said it appeared to have started in the electrical outlet beneath the sink. The wiring was old, he said.

The last couple of weeks have seen an uptick in fires throughout the county. Hillsboro and Marion fire departments were called to burning trailer loaded with hay bales at Ebenfeld Mennonite Brethren church, and as soon as Marion firefighters arrived, they were called to a grass fire elsewhere.

“It’s been very, very busy,” Steketee said.

Last modified March 10, 2021