News Flash

Riley County Fire District No 1

Posted on: November 20, 2023

Structure fire at vacant farmhouse in northern Riley County

smoke rising from a stone foundation after a fire

(Riley County, KS – November 20, 2023) A passerby reported smoke at 13650 Lasita Road in northern Riley County this morning and called 911. At 8:40 a.m., Riley County Fire District #1 was dispatched to a possible structure fire and upon arrival, found an unoccupied farmhouse fully engulfed in flames.

The cause of the fire at the century-old home is undetermined, but no foul play is suspected. The home was vacant. No one was living in the home at the time of the fire and no injuries have been reported in association with this fire.

"While the fire was unfortunate, the rain played a crucial role in preventing additional damages,” explained Deputy Fire Chief John Martens. “If this fire had happened last week during the dry, windy conditions, it likely would have escalated into a large wildfire that could have also spread to other structures.”

Approximately 20 volunteer firefighters responded to the fire on 9 apparatus. Martens expressed gratitude for their prompt response saying “Riley County is fortunate to have a dedicated group of volunteer firefighters. They truly make a difference in their community every day and I am proud to work with them.”

The owner of the property is listed as John Chaffee of Leonardville, KS.

Riley County Fire District #1 provides fire protection and emergency response to the unincorporated areas of Riley County, Kansas. We also serve the communities of Leonardville, Ogden, and Randolph, and provide supplemental support to the City of Manhattan and the City of Riley. Our primary response area includes suburban and rural areas totaling approximately 500 square miles.

We respond to wildfires, brush fires, structure fires, vehicle accidents, medical emergencies, road hazards, gas leaks, and other disasters. Our crews are dispatched by Riley County 911.

With 15 Fire Stations strategically located across Riley County along with 120+ volunteer firefighters, we strive to provide the taxpayers with timely emergency response and risk reduction 24/7/365.

To learn more about the department or apply to become a volunteer, visit or call 785-537-6333 during business hours.

firefighters spraying water on flames

Riley County Fire District #1
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