• Last modified 868 days ago (Feb. 3, 2022)


Seven-alarm fire termed suspicious

Staff writer

The cause of a fast-moving, seven-alarm fire that consumed 300 acres of grassland Monday and threatened a house east of Lincolnville is under investigation.

Lincolnville fire chief Les Kaiser said the fire started immediately next to the edge of 290th Rd. about a half a mile east of Wagon Wheel Rd. The property is owned by Louis Kaiser.

Fire marshal Chris Mercer went to the scene Tuesday afternoon.

The fire, smoke from which was visible more than 10 miles away, remained within the section in which it started. It appeared to have two points of origin.

Kaiser said firefighters from Lincolnville, Durham, Tampa, Ramona, Lost Springs, Marion, and Herington were on scene nearly four hours. Tampa ambulance was sent to stand by during the fire.

Kaiser was in training in Salina when the call came in, so his own arrival was delayed by the time it took to drive from there.

A house on 300th Rd. was threatened by the fire, he said.

Appraisal records indicate that house is owned by Alice Pontius.

“It was about 50 yards from one house,” he said. “They got it shut down before it got there.”

Randy Kahns, whose home is across Xavier Rd. from the fire, said he saw the fire when he went out to get mail.

“I stood there and watched it from the house,” he said.

Kahns said firefighters did a good job of fighting it and he wasn’t worried about it spreading to his house.

Kaiser said the fire moved so quickly because of wind and dry conditions.

Shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday, the fire rekindled. Lincolnville, Lost Springs, and Marion firefighters were called to the scene and spent just over an hour getting it back out.

Kaiser thanked the other fire departments for coming to assistance.

Monday was a busy day for county firefighters. At 1:08 p.m., Lincolnville and Marion firefighters were called to a grass fire near 270th and Sunflower Rds., just east of Pilsen. The fire was extinguished in little more than an hour. Tampa firefighters also were called but later told to disregard the call.

It was less than an hour after returning from the Pilsen fire that Lincolnville firefighters were summoned to fight the grassfire east of Lincolnville.

Marion firefighters had one more call Monday, this time to a fire in a trash can at 2nd and Main Sts. It was quickly extinguished.

Last modified Feb. 3, 2022