Investigators were working Wednesday to determine the cause of a Leawood house fire that critically injured a 53-year-old woman Tuesday night.
Fire officials said the home in the 9400 block of Meadow Lane was a total loss.
When crews arrived, the woman was banging on something inside to alert rescuers to her presence, said Leawood Battalion Chief Steve Duncan. Firefighters had difficulty entering the home because of hardened doors and windows, some with bars, he said.
But the rescue was made where the heaviest fire was, in the back of the home.
“They immediately went around the house, did a 360, saw where the fire was, looked in, saw the patient, grabbed her and got her out,” he said.
The woman was breathing off and on, and paramedics restored her pulse. She was later listed in critical condition.
Also taken to the hospital were two firefighters, one from Leawood and one from Consolidated Fire District No. 2. Both suffered lacerations from a broken plate glass window. One suffered cuts on the hand, the other on an arm. Duncan said their injuries were not life-threatening.
The two-alarm fire was reported about 6:30 p.m. when a passer-by called authorities. Ten crews responded as fire engulfed the ranch-style home. Shortly after 7 p.m., flames and black smoke were still billowing from all sides of the house.
With the roof starting to sag, firefighters battled the fire defensively and did not try to re-enter the home.
Duncan said the home appeared to have two layers of wood shingle roofing. The roof eventually collapsed, he said, and the house was a total loss.
The woman remained hospitalized Wednesday at the University of Kansas Hospital.