Fire strikes abandoned house off College Road

Jeremia Schrock / Sun Star Reporter
May 29, 2011

This electrical pole was damaged during a house fire on May 29, 2011. According to GVEA workers, the nearby College Mall was without power. Jeremia Schrock/Sun Star

A building off of College Rd. burned early Sunday  morning. Staff of the University Fire Department received the call at 2:20 a.m. As of 4:25 a.m., the department reported no fatalities and had yet to enter the building’s basement.

According to Chief Jim Styers, the house was abandoned and has burned three times within the past several years.

The fire reached a nearby electrical pole and caused a power outage to the College Mall. David McConnell, a GVEA employee, stated that while there were burned wires he was unsure of the total extent of the damage.

“There was a lot of fire,” said Styers, who estimated that the flames reached 50-60 feet. The building is located on Shanly St, just off College Rd.

Christine Lundberg, who lives next to the house, believed that the home had long been a fire risk. She stated that she often saw teenagers smoking in the building. “I knew something like this would eventually happen,” Lundberg said.

Lundberg added that the heat from the fire was so intense she could feel it radiating through the window on her door. The Lundberg home and the abandoned structure are less then 100 feet apart. Lundberg’s boyfriend, Jimmy Hayes, moved the couples R.V. and truck into the Gulliver’s Books parking lot for fear of the fire spreading and igniting the vehicles gas tanks.

According to Lundberg, her granddaughter Carla had never been more afraid in her life. “She was so scared, she kept saying, ‘I don’t want to die!'”

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