Fire destroys family’s home in Blue River Hills

By Katherine Wartell

A local family is without a home following an early morning blaze in the Blue River Hills Subdivision Thursday. Officials said the fire destroyed the contents and structure of the house.

Firefighters were called to 9214 Blue Ridge Road, about 10 miles north of Manhattan, at about 1:16 a.m. Thursday morning, Riley County Fire Chief Pat Collins said.

The occupants of the house, owned by Joe Jr. and Nancy Moore, were able to make it out and took shelter in a van near the residence, Collins said. Riley County EMS was called to treat possible smoke inhalation.

Collins said only one wall of the house still stood when firefighters arrived. The rest of the structure, he said, had fallen into the basement.

Firefighters focused their attention on protecting the house next to the Moore’s, which Collins said was steaming when firefighters arrived.

Firefighters also put out grass fires in an adjacent field after strong winds blew embers through the air. Collins said about three acres were burned.

About 21 firefighters remained on the scene until about 4:30 a.m., having come from Blue River Hills, Riley, Leonardville, Randolph, University Parks and Keats.

The Red Cross was also on the scene to assist the Moores.

Officials said the cause of the fire remained undetermined Thursday morning due to the extent of the damage. The homeowner reportedly told officials he thought the fire started near the propane furnace.

Collins estimates the damages, including the loss of a Toyota 4 Runner parked in the ruined garage, to exceed $200,000.

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