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Moped catches house on fire

HOUSE FIRE: A home at 916 N. Branson St. caught fire after the homeowner tried to start a moped in his bedroom. No injuries were sustained in the fire, according to Assistant Chief Tony Fox of the Marion Fire Department

By Clay Winowiecki - cwinowiecki@chronicle-tribune.com

A Marion man caught his home on fire after trying to start a moped inside his bedroom on Saturday.

The house fire at 916 N. Branson St. damaged more than 75 percent of the home, according to Assistant Chief Tony Fox of the Marion Fire Department. No injuries were sustained in the fire.

The call came in around 9:39 p.m., Fox said, and by the time firefighters arrived a few minutes later the small home was already fully engulfed.

“The origin (of the fire) was the resident who tried to start a moped that he had inside the house,” Fox said. “(He) noticed the floor was on fire underneath it.”

The homeowner tried to put the fire out himself, but it quickly got out of control and flames spread throughout the home.

“I believe it was the fuel that caused it to spread rapidly,” Fox said.

The man had the moped in his bedroom. Fox said he was unsure why the homeowner was trying to start his moped inside the home.

According to Fox, the homeowner recently had repairs completed on the moped.

The Marion Fire Department believes the gas, which leaked onto the floor, combusted.

Fox advised people not to store anything with combustible fuel, such as a lawn mower, inside your residence.

“And definitely don't try to start it or run it while it's indoors,” he added.

According to Fox, the machines may have combustibility issues with fuel, and carbon monoxide is a serious health threat.

The fire was put out quickly by MFD, but firefighters stayed on scene for two hours to clear the home.

The home itself was only about 600 square feet, Fox said. All three rooms in the house — the bedroom, living room and kitchen — were heavily damaged.

The homeowner had a place to go after the fire, so he was not in need of shelter assistance.