Crews at the scene of a smoky house fire east of Ark City, got a scare Thursday when a firefighter fell through the floor of the home while battling the blaze.
Ark City Fire Lt. Jeff Sampson was making his way through thick smoke when he stepped on a spot in the floor that had been weakened by fire. He fell through and into the basement.
Sampson was taken to a local hospital, treated and released.
“That’s the first time that’s happened in all my time here,” fire Capt. John Scott, a longtime Ark City firefighter, said. “We’re all very happy that’s he’s going to be OK.”
The home sustained heavy damage and is a total loss, Scott said.
Around 10:22 a.m. crews were called to the residence at 28731 131st Rd. James L. Nichols owns the home and lives there with his pets. All were able to escape the home uninjured.
The fire started in a couch in the home’s basement, where Nichols is said to have spent most of his time. He is a smoker, however, it was unclear whether a cigarette was to blame for igniting the couch.
Nichols had fallen asleep and awoke to find the fire burning.
It took crews from Winfield, Ark City and Dexter over an hour to bring the fire under control. The first floor of the home reportedly contained a considerable amount of refuse, with which firefighters also had to contend.
Heavy smoke was an issue. too.
The home was valued at $48,000.