A fire swept through a two-story Kansas City, Kan., house on Sunday, displacing a family of six in the second devastating blaze of the weekend in the city.
Sunday’s fire was reported about 11:15 a.m. in the 1900 block of Grandview Boulevard, near 18th Street and Central Avenue. Firefighters reported seeing thick, black smoke from miles away as they responded.
By the time firefighters arrived, the house was fully engulfed in flames.
“Flames were coming out of every door and window,” said Operations Chief Dan Smith of the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department. “It’s a total loss.”
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Because firefighters didn’t know whether anyone was home at the time, they quickly searched to make sure there was no one inside.
The occupants were not home.
Crystal Sinclair, who lives in the house with her mother, her brother and her three children, said they were picking up her brother and his girlfriend so that they could visit a friend who has cancer when she got a Facebook notice that their house was on fire.
They were about five minutes away, and they rushed home.
“First I saw all these fire trucks, and then I saw the house once I came down to it,” she said. “I was like: ‘Oh, my God. No.’ ”
Sinclair’s father put a down payment on the house in the fall. He died unexpectedly in October.
“He wanted to surprise (his wife),” Sinclair said.
Sinclair has three boys: 4 years, 2 years, and 10 months old.
“My first thought is, where am I going to put my kids to bed?” she said. “The second thing that goes through my head is that everything but my dad’s ashes were in that house.”
Items like that are not replaceable, she said.
Sinclair’s mother, Cindy Blankenship, said they got home as quick as they heard the house was on fire. She said she talked with some neighbors, and they said they heard an explosion before the fire.
“I don’t know what happened,” she said. “I’m waiting for the Fire Department to tell us what’s going on.”
They had two dogs. Both are Labs, one named Bubba and the other Jasmine. Jasmine was missing.
“It’s very sad because I lost everything,” Blankenship said as her voice cracked and she teared up. “I don’t even want to look at the house. I just want my husband’s stuff back. But that’s not going to happen.”
This was the second big house fire of the weekend in Kansas City, Kan. On Saturday, a family of 10 was displaced after a blaze destroyed a home and cars in the 6000 block of North Sewell Avenue.