Two people died after firefighters pulled them from their midtown Kansas City home that was engulfed in flames early Wednesday.
Firefighters responded to the blaze about 4:50 a.m. at the corner of 42nd and Locust streets. They reported that the back of the house was engulfed in flames.
Firefighters pulled two unresponsive people from the burning house. They were rushed to the hospital but were pronounced dead. No one else appeared to be home, a Fire Department spokesman said.
“It just kept burning and burning,” said Catherine Daly, 29, who ran out with other neighbors while the fire raged. “It felt like it was never going to end.”
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Firefighters were swarming from the front of the house, attacking the flames billowing in the back, she said. People heard windows shattering.
Patrick Emmett, 54, who often mowed the yard for the fire victims, said five people had lived in the home, including two children.
The victims — whose names had not been released Wednesday — were relatively new owners of the home, and they had painted it blue with maroon trim.
“They were good people,” Emmett said.
Melissa Blessen, 28, had run out among the ambulances and fire trucks filling the narrow streets, thinking that as the firefighters worked the blaze, “maybe no one was in there.”
But then, after about an hour, they saw that their neighbors had died.
One victim was found on the first floor and the other on the third floor of the house.
There were no working smoke detectors inside the house, a fire official said.
Kansas City Fire Chief Paul Berardi called the deaths “tragic and unnecessary” in a tweet. He urged Kansas City residents to call the city for free smoke detectors by dialing 311 or 816-513-4611.