By Wendy Nugent, Newton Now
A Thursday night fire in the 500 block of East First Street destroyed the home and its contents, valued at an estimated $60,000.
That’s according to Newton Fire/EMS Division Chief Phil Beebe, who still was out at the scene at around 10:45 p.m. and beyond at 501 E. 11th with a number of other local firefighters, who were there to make sure the fire was out.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
“When we showed up, there was fire coming out of a first-floor window, and it was clear early on that the fire had extended into the walls and into the attic,” Beebe said.
No one was home at the time of the fire, and there were no injuries to firefighters or other humans. However, at least one dog died, and a cat and rabbit were rescued.
Beebe said they spent hours opening the walls from the inside and outside to get to the fire.
“Initial reports were that children may have been inside, but that wasn’t the case,” Newton Fire/EMS Chief Scott Metzler said.
They had the fire under control fairly quickly.
“Initially, we got a good knockdown in 10 minutes,” Beebe said. “It was the fire in the walls and attic that took several hours.”
He said Newton had about 15 crew members out there, and Hesston and Halstead responded, as well.
“We have an automatic aid agreement where Hesston and Halstead automatically send a firetruck and an ambulance,” Beebe said.
They also called a service called BoardUp to help out.
“They board up any holes or windows,” Beebe said.
How to help
Since the family lost practically everything, they’re needing some financial help to replace items and get a place to live. A Go Fund Me page has been set up at https://www.gofundme.com/family-of-8-needing-a-home?fbclid=IwAR0fPoEYDlFIXBLxCQrxoP_GKQW_mZSveHM78DUVyWxOZfbj3x_KJecgn00
“My daughter and her husband with si kids, one with a heart defect, house caught on fire last night,” according to the Go Fund Me page. “They lost everything they owned and both their pets in the fire. They lost everything. Raising money to get them into a house and some furniture—anything will help.