Only minor injuries in Colby apartment fire
By The Hays Daily News
There was a utility closet fire in a Colby family's home Wednesday at 7:35 p.m. at Southwind Apartments at 1160 Zelfer.
A vacuum placed near the hot water heater and furnace unit caught on fire, Sean Hankin, assistant fire chief for the Colby Fire Department, said. A furnace malfunction may have started the blaze, Hankin said.
The father noticed the fire and carried out the burning appliance before any significant damage occurred beyond the closet lined with sheetrock, Hankin said. The man sustained minor burn injuries that did not require transportation to the hospital, and his wife and two children were unharmed, he said.
The engulfed vacuum's flames reached 3 to 4 feet high, Hankin said. A fire extinguisher put out the fire quickly, he said.
Hankin said 18 inches is the standard safe distance to put combustible materials such as paper or cardboard near hot appliances.