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Candle starts fire at Janesville residence

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Frank Schultz
Thursday, May 18, 2017

JANESVILLE—A fire that caused an estimated $40,000 damage to a home on the city's west side Wednesday night started with a knocked-over candle, the Janesville Fire Department reported.

No one was injured.

The fire was not storm-related but came at a time when firefighters were busy with numerous storm-related calls.

Firefighters were called at 6:58 p.m. to 506 Center Ave. and found heavy smoke coming from second-floor windows of the two-unit residence, according to a department report.

Building owner Lance Kirchner told firefighters he had knocked over a candle in a second-floor bedroom while removing debris, according to the report.

Kirchner said he couldn't put out the fire on his own and called 911, according to the report.

The fire was on the second floor only, but smoke and water damaged both the upper and lower units.

Kirchner, who lives in the lower apartment, found temporary housing for himself, according to the report.

The fire came shortly after the first round of storms passed through the area, knocked out power to thousands of residents, but the use of the candle was not storm-related, Battalion Chief Ron Bomkamp said.

Kirchner was using the candle to cover up a bad smell, Bomkamp said.



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