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Firefighters rescue residents and pets from house fire near KC Art Institute

Updated: 2013-12-18T14:22:20Z

By ROBERT A. CRONKLETON

The Kansas City Star

A two-alarm fire heavily damaged a large house near the the Kansas City Art Institute early Wednesday morning.

Three people were in the house at the time of the fire. No one was injured, but the fire caused $300,000 to $500,000 worth of damage to the house.

The fire was reported after 5 a.m. The first firefighters who arrived at the house in the 4300 block of McGee Street asked for a second alarm, said Kansas City Fire Department spokesman James Garrett.

“When we got here we saw this huge structure and so we had to get more manpower in to help with it,” Garrett said.

One of the residents met firefighters outside and told them two people were inside.

“Our crews made it inside and made sure those occupants were out,” Garret said. “They had to assist those occupants and pets in getting out.”

Fire crews provided oxygen to at least two cats.

An air conditioning unit fell through the roof during the fire. That actually helped ventilate the fire, Garrett said.

Firefighters found most of the fire between the second and third floors of the house. The origin was being investigated.

There were working smoke detectors in the house.

The three-story house, which at one time had been converted to apartments, was being turned back into a single-family house, Garrett said. It suffered significant damage, including to its roof.

A fire hydrant across the street from the house was not working, but that didn’t pose a problem because of other hydrants on the block, Garrett said.

The blaze is a reminder to get out quickly if your house catches fire, Garrett said.

“If you have a fire, call 911 and everybody get out of the house,” Garrett said. “Don’t go back in and try to save anything. Just call 911 and get out of the house.”

To reach Robert A. Cronkleton, call 816-234-4261 or send email to bcronkleton@kcstar.com.

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