Updated: Fire claims life on N. Walnut

Chad Frey
A fire claimed a life in the 800 block of N. Walnut on Oct. 20.

A residential fire claimed a life Tuesday in the 800 block of N. Walnut.

A home that has been split into a pair of apartments caught fire at about 9:30 p.m. Residents in the apartment closest to the street called 911 after they were unable to get into an apartment on the backside of the house, and could not make contact with the resident who lived there.

Timothy Hebert, 48, of Newton, was pronounced dead at the scene.

This incident is still an ongoing complex investigation involving the Newton Fire/EMS Department, Newton Police Department, and the Office of the State Fire Marshal. All attempts to locate and notify Hebert’s family have been unsuccessful.

Officials are asking members of the community if they have contact information regarding family, to please notify the Newton Police Department at 316-284-6030.

In the wake of this tragedy, we would like to remind citizens of the importance of having working smoke detectors. Please take a few minutes each month to discuss your home escape plan with your family and ensure your smoke detectors are in working order.

They could not get into the apartment behind them.

“Law enforcement made first contact, and said there was someone inside,” said Phil Beebe, division chief for the Newton Fire/EMS Department. “We found a victim, brought them out and tried to resuscitate. We were not able to resuscitate the resident. He was pronounced dead at the scene.”

Due to the fatality, the state fire marshall’s office was asked to assist in the fire investigation. The investigation is ongoing.

The fatality was the only injury suffered in the fire. Damage to the house was limited to the apartment in which the victim lived.

“The fire was controlled quickly,” Beebe said. “... No one else was hurt, everyone else and their pets got out.”

The results of the investigation are still pending.

Both the Halstead and Hesston Fire Departments assisted at the scene.