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Shredder starts fire at home on Pepperhill Road in Lexington

Firefighters responded to a house fire Thursday night at 3278 Pepperhill Road that caused extensive damage.

Battalion Chief Harold Oskins said crews arrived just before 9 p.m. after the homeowners called 911. Richard Murphy and his wife had just returned home from church when they discovered the fire.

Oskins said investigators were able to pinpoint the cause of the fire right away.

"There's a bedroom that's been turned into an office and we found quite a bit of fire involvement in that room," Oskins said. "We dug through the debris and found what appears to be the remains of a paper shredder where the main body of the fire started."

The shredder apparently failed, causing the fire to spark.

It took 10 to 15 minutes for firefighters to put out the fire, Oskins said.

He said the family told firefighters that they used the paper shredder just before they left for church and were gone for three hours before returning home to the fire.

Since the fire occurred in a back room, Oskins said he wasn't surprised that neighbors didn't see it. He also said since there was a lot of wind, any smoke that escaped could have been blown away before anyone saw it.

The fire damaged two rooms and a hallway; no injuries were reported.

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