Unoccupied house burns to the ground in rural Webster County

Duncombe fire chief says cause is not determined

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Andy Sowle, a Duncombe volunteer firefighter, walks in front of a fully engulfed house fire in rural Webster County Monday afternoon. Sowle was getting ready to run a hose to this side of the house.

LEHIGH — An unoccupied house with no utilities burned to the ground in rural Webster County Monday afternoon.

The house, located at 3070 Brushy Creek Road, was fully engulfed when volunteer firefighters arrived.

No one was injured, Todd Bingham, Duncombe volunteer fire chief reported.

The house is a total loss.

The cause of the fire was not determined.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Cory Stuhr, a Duncombe volunteer firefighter, and Tanner Jensen, a Stratford firefighter, at right, help bring down a wall of a house that caught fire in rural Webster County Monday afternoon. A pair of volunteer firefighters assist at left.

“I don’t know if we’ll ever know,” Bingham said.

He said no utilities were servicing the house.

Phil Richardson, the mayor of Lehigh, said he was taking care of the property, though he doesn’t own it.

“Nobody lived there,” he said. “There was some stuff in there. As far as value, I don’t know.”

Richardson said a neighbor down the road called him to the scene.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Andy Sowle, a Duncombe volunteer firefighter, shoots a stream of water at a house that caught fire in rural Webster County Monday afternoon.

He’s not sure how the fire started, but indicated it could have been intentionally set.

“About a year ago I notified deputies that I was having some trouble,” he said.

Richardson did not elaborate.

Volunteer firefighters from Lehigh, Stratford and Duncombe, responded. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources were also on scene.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
Duncombe volunteer firefighters attack a house fire in rural Webster County Monday afternoon.

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
An unoccupied house at 3070 Brushy Creek Road, burned to the ground Monday afternoon.

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