Unoccupied house burns to the ground in rural Webster County

Firefighters respond from Duncombe, Stratford

Cory Stuhr, a Duncombe volunteer firefighter, and Tanner Jensen, a Stratford firefighter, at right, help bring down a wall of a house that caught fire in rural Webster County Monday afternoon. A pair of volunteer firefighters assist at left.

LEHIGH — An occupied house with no utilities burned to the ground in rural Webster County Monday afternoon.

The house, located at 3070 Brushy Creek Road, was fully engulfed when volunteer firefighters arrived.

No one was injured, Todd Bingham, Duncombe volunteer fire chief reported.

The house is a total loss.

The cause of the fire was not determined.

“I don’t know if we’ll ever know,” Bingham said.

He said no utilities were servicing the house.

Phil Richardson, the mayor of Lehigh, said he was taking care of the property, though he doesn’t own it.

“Nobody lived there,” he said. “There was some stuff in there. As far as value, I don’t know.”

Richardson said a neighbor down the road called him to the scene.

He’s not sure how the fire started, but indicated it could have been intentionally set.

“About a year ago I notified deputies that I was having some trouble,” he said.

Richardson did not elaborate.

Volunteer firefighters from Lehigh, Stratford, Webster City and Duncombe, responded. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources were also on scene.