Thankfully, all 21 residents of Sterling House made it out safely after fire developed there late Friday night.
Unfortunately, they all need a new place to call home after fire destroyed the building.
Battalion Chief Rich Gould says firefighters were called to 1200 West 12th shortly before midnight, discovering already coming from the roof. Crews from Emporia, Americus and Olpe dumped in water from several fire hoses at ground level and also using the EFD ladder truck.
Gould says it "was a blessing" everybody made it out safely.
Sterling House provides assisted living for seniors. Calls to the facility phone number were met by a busy signal. Sterling House residents were taken to Newman Regional Health to spend the night, Gould says.
This is the third devastating structure fire the past three years on or very close to the Fourth of July. In 2012, fire destroyed a storage house and a resulting grass fire torched a lot of vehicles and other equipment at 2312 E. Sixth on the Fourth of July. The next day, fire developed at 721 Exchange, destroying that house. Children playing with sparklers turned out to the the cause.
There is currently no indication as to what caused the fire. Investigators are focusing on the kitchen for a possible origination point.
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