Victim identified in Osage City nursing home fire

OSAGE CITY – The Osage City Police Department has released the name of the Peterson Nursing Home resident that died in a fire at the facility Saturday.

Osage City Police Chief Fred Nech reported Monday that Beverly Leeth, 58, formerly of the Topeka area, had died in the fire that was contained in one room in the facility.

Police and emergency personnel responded about 1:27 p.m. March 14 to a report of a fire at the facility at 630 Holliday St., Osage City. Nech said police officers were the first to arrive at the scene, discovering the fire had been extinguished by the facility’s fire suppression system. The police chief said the fire had been confined to the facility’s smoking or break room, where Leeth was found deceased.

Nech said the first emergency call was generated by the facility’s fire warning system, followed by calls from people at the nursing home.

According to Osage County Fire District No. 2 Chief Dan Romine, two fire trucks were dispatched to the scene, but the fire was out by the time they arrived. Romine said his crews helped remove a small amount of smoke from the facility and cleaned up water in the room from the single sprinkler that extinguished the fire. The fire chief said there was no structure damage from the fire, which was limited to the victim’s immediate area in the room.

Nech said the cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office. A spokesperson with the fire marshal’s office said an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of Leeth’s death.

Also responding to the fire were Osage County EMS, Topeka Fire Department K-9 Unit, and the Osage County Sheriff’s Department.

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