JUNCTION CITY — Fire personnel still are trying to determine the cause of a blaze that destroyed much of a Boyle County home Sunday night.
Junction City Fire Department spokesman Jim Harris said crews were called to a home at 621 W. Shelby St. shortly after 8:30 p.m. The two-story structure near Don and Pattie’s Service Center was fully involved when firefighters arrived.
The home belonged to Carleen Love, the mother of former Junction City Fire and Police Chief Jimmy Gipson, who was able to get out of the structure without injury.
Gipson, who lives two doors away, said his mother was preparing dinner after returning from church when a smoke alarm sounded. Love found fire in the living room and went to get Gipson.
Gipson said he attempted to extinguish the fire with a portable fire extinguisher, but the flames had grown too big by the time he got to the scene.
According to Gipson, the home was more than 120 years old and had been the first dentist office in Junction City. Love lived in the home, first purchased by Gipson’s grandmother, for 15-20 years.
The most serious damage was contained to the upstairs of the home, but Gipson said the entire home is likely a total loss. Love lost most of her personal belongings, but will be able to stay with his siblings and him.
“She was upset, but she is going to be OK,” Gipson said.
Harris said the cause and exact origin of the fire still have not been determined. An investigative team will return Monday morning to gather more information.
Crews from Boyle County Fire Department and Moreland Fire Department, for which Gipson now serves as a volunteer, also assisted at the scene.