State

Gas explosion possible cause of Hutchinson house fire

A woman is in critical condition at a Wichita hospital after a house fire in Hutchinson early Thursday, officials say.

The woman received burns in the fire reported at 2:17 a.m. in the 1500 block of East Second, a Reno County emergency dispatch supervisor said. The woman lived alone at the house.

She was transported to the burn unit at Via Christi Hospital-St. Francis.

According to information posted on the Hutchinson Fire Department’s Facebook page, firefighters who arrived first came upon a house fully engulfed in fire, with flames coming out of every window. It took firefighters nearly half an hour to bring the blaze under control.

The woman who lived at the house had been evacuated before fire crews arrived, the statement said. She was found down the street at a neighbor’s house.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, but investigators are not ruling out a gas explosion from a loose fitting on an interior gas line. The house will “more than likely be a total loss,” the department’s statement said.

Stan Finger: 316-268-6437, @StanFinger

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