UPDATE: TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ The city of Topeka is paying a $16,000 demolition fee originally billed to a family grieving the death of an 18-year-old woman in a house fire last month. City Manager Jim Colson said Monday that he apologized to the family of Morgan Duncan, who died in a fire on November 20. The bill was for the demolition of the home in which Duncan lived. Her mother received the bill last week, just days before a memorial service. Colson said he ordered an investigation, and the city concluded that the demolition was necessary to put out the fire and keep fire and emergency personnel safe. Colson said that made the city responsible for the cost of hiring a private company to do the demolition work.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Relatives of an 18 year old who was killed in a house fire last month were outraged to receive a more than $16,000 bill from Topeka for tearing down the damaged structure. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Morgan Duncan's family members had a memorial service for the 18 year old Saturday afternoon. While the mother and grandparents were preparing to say their final goodbyes, they received the bill. The city of Topeka told Duncan's mother, Cheri Duncan, she could make payments. But Duncan's grandmother, Mary Johnson, says her daughter didn't have homeowner's insurance and probably won't be able to handle even a small monthly payment. Johnson says Cheri and Morgan Duncan were on a fixed income of about $1,400 per month before the fire.