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Fire destroys 81-year-old house on Broadview

WICHITA — An electrical problem in the attic ignited a fire that destroyed a house near Central and Broadview this morning, authorities said.

The fire at 536 N. Broadview was reported shortly after 6 a.m. Whipped by strong north winds, it spread quickly, Wichita Fire Capt. Stuart Bevis said.

"Unfortunately, it got ahead of us," Bevis said. "It was rolling through the attic."

The person who lived there heard popping upstairs and then lost electricity, Bevis said. He then saw fire in the attic.

Firefighters had to take a defensive posture on the fire because it spread so quickly through the attic and because the house _ built in 1928 _ had two fireplace chimneys.

As the roof and other support structures burn away, Bevis said, the chimneys become a real threat to the safety of the firefighters.

The total damage to the house was more than $130,000, Bevis said — $83,000 for the structure and $50,000 for contents. The house is considered "a total loss," he said.

No injuries were reported.

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