A man and a woman suffered burns and smoke inhalation injuries before escaping a fire that destroyed their home Tuesday morning, Mart Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jerry “Bud” Pavelka said.

Volunteer firefighters responded to a fire in a single-story home at 204 N. Commerce St. at about 2:20 a.m., Pavelka said. About half the house was consumed by fire, and the two residents had escaped by the time firefighters arrived, he said. They were taken to a local hospital by ambulance. The home is occupied by renters, he said.

Volunteer fire departments from Riesel, Hallsburg, Elk and Groesbeck came to help, and the fire was under control within about 45 minutes, Pavelka said.

Crews remained at the property until about 5:30 a.m., making sure hot spots were extinguished and property around the house was safe. One neighboring home was threatened, but firefighters were able to protect it from damage, he said.

Mart police also assisted fire crews, officials said.

Pavelka said the cause of the fire was unknown Tuesday afternoon, but preliminary reports indicate it was not intentional.

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Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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