The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
by Ryan Kienast, The Quill
On Thursday, January 17th, 2013 a fire destroyed the house and an adjacent office building at the family farm of La Harpe resident Mark Finch.
According to Finch, he was spending the night at the farm in a cabin that is located just east of the house.
At approximately 2:00 a.m., his dog woke him up and his other dogs out in the kennel were barking as well, so he got up to check things out. That was when he saw the flames shooting out of the picture window in the living room of the Finch family farm home.
He ran back into the cabin to grab his cell phone to call 911. At the same time, all of the power went off. Shortly before the fire department arrived, the office building caught on fire as well and the house caved.
Finch says, "We are very grateful to the La Harpe, Fountain Green, and Dallas City Fire Departments for their rapid response time."
He fears if they had not gotten there so quickly the machine shed would have gone as well.
The majority of their items, the family had already moved into town to their new home, but Finch said they still had quite a few items stored out there that was to go in the basement in town as soon as it was completed.
The cause of the fire is yet undetermined, but the Fire Inspector from the insurance company believes it had something to do with faulty wiring. The official ruling will be released sometime this week.
Finch says, "The material things can be replaced, but the memories of our farm home cannot. Three generations of my family were raised within its walls and that's the saddest part of all."
The farm is located west of La Harpe, then south at the southeast edge of Durham township.