Fire destroys two homes
Fire destroyed two structures this morning at 1376 Highway 14 East in rural Baxter, and it is still unknown if the home was occupied.
Assistant Baxter Fire Chief Kelly Milligan said on scene that the identity of the owner has not been officially confirmed, but according to the Jasper County Assessors website the property is owned by Kevin and Jodi Horstman.
The fire was reported around 9 a.m. when the main home on the property was partially engulfed. Milligan said that as fire crews arrived the structure was fully ablaze Attempts to search the structure for occupants has been put on hold until the fire is extinguished.
“No one could ascertain whether it (the house) was occupied,” Milligan said. “We’re waiting until it’s safe enough for our crews to go inside and look around.”
Neighbors Charles and Rachel Osborn, who were observing fire crews fight the blaze, farm on land directly north of the burned property. They said that Horstman was in the process of gutting and demolishing the single-wide mobile home adjacent to the primary double-wide on the property before this morning’s fire.
A cause of the fire is still unknown. Baxter responders were assisted on scene by Newton and Kellogg Fire Departments and the Baxter police.
Check www.newtondailynews.com for updates as they become available today.
Mike Mendenhall can be contacted at 792-3121 ext. 422 or via e-mail at email@example.com.