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A local man is without a home after a morning blaze engulfed a house near Halfway this week.

Prairie Grove Fire Department Chief Arnold Kropf said crews were dispatched to a residence in the 2400 block of East 388th Road, north of Halfway at around 9:37 a.m. Monday, Nov. 11.

The home is a complete loss, Kropf said.

PGFD Assistant Fire Chief Herman Hostetler said the cause seems to be “electrical, to the best of our knowledge.” 

“In this particular case, too many space heaters were plugged in,” Hostetler said. “It overloaded the system.” 

There were no reported injuries, and the homeowner was not home during the fire, Kropf said.

The fire was reported by a neighbor, who said the home was “burning like crazy,” Kropf said. The neighbor then called Kropf, who told him to call 9-1-1.

“When they reported it, they said it started in the attic,” Kropf said. “By the time we got there, it was almost fully engulfed.”

He noted his son lives two doors down from the burned home, “so he got on our fire group and he reported it and said we need all the engines and trucks we have,” Kropf said.

Prairie Grove responded with three fire trucks, two tanker trucks and an engine “with a quick response,” he said. 

He said Central Polk County Fire Protection District provided mutual aid, bringing another fire truck. 

Kropf said there were around 12 to 15 firefighters on scene.

“It took quite a while,” Kropf said, speaking of how long it took to contain the fire. “It took probably around two hours.” 

The owner of the home lived alone, Kropf said. 

“We got Red Cross out, and they are taking care of him at the moment,” he added. 

After Prairie Grove and Central Polk put out the fire and left the scene, the American Red Cross later reported the fire had rekindled, Hostetler said.

The rekindled fire was reported at around 11:49 a.m., Kropf said.

“We suspect we missed a spot somewhere, possibly, but we haven’t reassessed it to where we know for sure,” Hostetler said, speaking on the rekindling’s cause.  

While the structure was already a total loss, Hostetler said “probably ¾ of the house” became fully engulfed again.  

Prairie Grove and Central Polk returned on scene to fight the blaze. 

As temperatures drop this season, Hostetler said it’s important for homeowners to not have too many electrical items plugged in at the same time — especially space heaters — because they have the potential to overload a residential structure’s electrical system and cause a similar fire. 

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