Vehicle fire causes $25K in damages, is being investigated

A view of the house at 138 SE California Ave. in Topeka where a vehicle fire caused $25,000 worth of damage early Saturday morning. (Tom Weineck/KSNT)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — The Topeka Fire Department dealt with a vehicle fire early Saturday morning that caused $25,000 worth of damages.

At about 2:30 a.m., fire crews headed out to 138 SE California Ave. on a call about a vehicle being on fire.

When crews arrived, they saw an intense fire at the back of the house that did involve a vehicle. The fire was beginning to spread the house next door and to a detached garage.

Crews first focused on protecting the nearby structures. By the time the fire was extinguished it had caused extensive damage to the house at 138 SE California and to the detached garage.

The inside of the house was searched and it was confirmed that everyone living there got out safely.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the fire began inside the vehicle, which was seemingly parked between two structures. What started the fire has yet to be determined, however, and a deeper investigation will be conducted.

The estimated total dollar loss is $25,000:

  • $15,000 in structural losses to the house at 138 SE California.
  • $5,000 in damages to the adjacent detached garage.
  • $1,000 loss with regard to the vehicle where the fire started.
  • $4,000 in contents lost.

Anyone with information about this fire is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 785-234-0007, or toll free at 1-800-222 TIPS (8477). You can also text your tip to CRIMES (274637). Be sure to use “TIP128” at the start of your text message.

Crime Stoppers offers cash rewards of up to $2,000 for information on any felony crime in Topeka or Shawnee County.

American Medical Response, the Topeka Police Department, Kansas Gas Service and Westar Energy assisted at the scene.

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