A fire official called this a close call after a structure fire destroyed a home early Wednesday morning in Arkansas City.

Fire agencies were called to a structure fire at 2:33 a.m., originally to 818 South B St., later amended to 815 South B St. A neighbor called in the fire while she was letting a dog out and noticed residents fleeing from the house, according to Ark City Fire Capt. Paul Hunter.

No injuries to people or pets were reported as the balloon-frame two story house ignited in the front and spread very quickly, Hunter said. There was a dog in the backyard but it was not harmed. When firefighters arrived from the station, just a few blocks away, the house was mostly involved. The fire was logged under control at 3:30 a.m. with the assistance of the Udall and Winfield fire departments.

Hunter said the house was a complete loss with an initial estimate of $40,000 in structural loss and $20,000 of contents lost. Only a few things in the back of the house may be salvaged, he said. The fire is still under investigation and the final numbers may be adjusted, Hunter added.

From the initial investigation, the house was under renovation and some children were sleeping in the front part of the house when one of them possibly kicked on a floor heater.

“Luckily one of the children woke up to the smell of smoke,” Hunter stated, “there were no smoke detectors installed in the house making this a close call.”

Portions of the house not burned, sustained heavy smoke damage. Due to the right weather conditions, none of the nearby structures were affected, Hunter said.

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