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Firefighters from Imperial and Wauneta responded to a Saturday morning fire at the Wayne Bartels home, south of Enders. The fire was contained to a small section on the home’s north side. (Johnson Publications photo)

Imperial, Wauneta departments respond to small fire at rural home

    Firefighters from the Imperial and Wauneta volunteer departments responded to a mid-morning fire Saturday at the rural Wayne Bartels farm home. Imperial Fire Chief Doug Mitchell said the fire was contained to an estimated three by four foot section of the home’s north side, which had then burned through the studs and inside wall.
    Imperial’s quick attack unit was first on the scene after the 9:30 a.m. call and extinguished the flame quickly, Mitchell said. Smoke had filled the home including the basement. Firefighters donned self-contained breathing apparatuses (SCBAs) and did a full check indoors with the thermal imaging camera to confirm no other fire was present, he said. No other issues were found, he said.
    Apparently, Bartels had been attempting to thaw out an above-ground drain pipe outdoors that had frozen when the fire started, the fire chief said. Later Saturday, the IVFD brought out a pair of smoke detectors to be installed in the home.
    Mitchell said since the call was a reported structure fire, the IVFD called in the Wauneta department for mutual aid. Bartels home is near the line that separates the two departments’ coverage area. Bartels’ home is about a half mile north of the Chase/Dundy County line, just off Highway 61.
    The Chase County Sheriff’s Office, emergency management and Imperial EMS were also on the scene.


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