- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

DERBY, Kan. (AP) - Investigators are blaming a lawnmower and spilled gasoline for a fire that destroyed two homes in the southern Kansas town of Derby.

KAKE-TV reports (https://bit.ly/1dODxQA ) winds were gusting at more than 30 mph when the fire broke out Monday afternoon.

Derby Fire Chief Brad Delay said the owner of one of the houses had spilled gasoline on his lawnmower, which backfired and caught fire when he started the machine. The man ran to get a garden hose, but his house was immediately engulfed in flames.

The fire quickly spread to the neighboring house, which was also destroyed. Officials put the estimated loss of the two homes at $150,000 apiece, plus the value of their contents.

The man operating the lawnmower was treated at a doctor’s office for burns.

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Information from: KAKE-TV.

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