Abandoned structure burns overnight in St. John

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
A large fire lit up the night in St. John earlier in May when an abandonded home owned by Dick Smith at 502 East 5th burned to the ground.

Loss of old lumber and an abandoned structure were the only deteriments of a fire in St. John earlier this month, that and loss of sleep for some who were awakened by the melee late May 12 at 502 East 5th in St John.

"I am the homeowner, the structure that burned was next to my house. It has been an old abandoned house for years," said St. John resident Dick Smith.

Smith said the fire which lit up the night sky and a created a glow seen from quite a distance, was possiblty started with a spark from a chainsaw because someone was trimming tree limbs in that area earlier that same day.

"Its value was probably zero to a couple of thousand dollars just for the wood," Smith said. "There was no one living there."

Smith said that though the property completely burned down and was total loss, neighbors and firefighters were thankful that is was surrounded by two unoccupied acres at the edge of town and there was no danger of anything else nearby catching fire at the time of the blaze.

By daylight the next day, the fire that burned an abandonded house in St. John was still smoldering but not much was left of the structure owned by Dick Smith.