House fires reported three minutes apart destroyed a Planeview triplex and a house in far east Wichita early Monday morning.
The Planeview fire was reported at 4:42 a.m., Fire Capt. Stuart Bevis said, and when firefighters arrived they found the middle unit of a triplex in the 3000 block of South Clifton in flames. The fire engulfed the center apartment, he said, and also damaged the units on both sides.
The triplex was vacant. Damage was set at $50,000, Bevis said, which would mean the structure is a total loss.
Three minutes after the Planeview fire was reported, another fire was reported in far east Wichita. Firefighters had to go into a defensive mode — meaning they were focusing on keeping the flames from spreading to surrounding homes — as the house at 14310 E. Twinlake Court burned.
Damage to the five-bedroom, 3,137-square foot house south of Kellogg and just west of 143rd Street East was set at $300,000, Bevis said. The person who lives there was gone at the time of the fire, he said.
One firefighter was injured while working the Twinlake Court fire, Bevis said, and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. But the injury is not serious, he said.
“We have not collected enough information to determine whether the fires were accidental or intentionally set,” Bevis said. “So nothing has been ruled out.”