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Lexington Ave. fire started on first floor kitchen stove

Friday, September 17, 2004

A house fire that destroyed a family's possessions at 1531 Lexington Ave. in Cape Girardeau late Thursday afternoon started on the kitchen stove, according to the Cape Girardeau Fire Department.

The call came into the department at 3:31 p.m. Thursday. Battalion chief Steve Niswonger was the first firefighter on the scene.

Upon his arrival, Niswonger said he could see that there was heavy smoke coming from the back of the house, but no flames. When he went to the back of the house he saw that the fire was located in the kitchen on the first floor of the house.

Niswonger originally thought the fire likely started because there was grease on the stove, which might have been left on accidentally.

Upon further investigation the department concluded an electric burner on the stove was left on unattended. An aluminum cooking pot sitting on the stove melted to the point of igniting, cause the pot to explode and spark a fire.

Niswonger said the fire is believed accidental and the investigation has been closed.

There were two people at home at the time of the fire, the 15- and 17-year-old daughters of the couple who owns the house, but neither was hurt.

The inside of the house has extensive heat and smoke damage on the first and second floor and all the rooms were badly blackened by the fire and smoke.

kalfisi@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182


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