Firefighters continued to work Monday morning at the scene of a massive house fire in south Kansas City where a family member of the homeowners was believed to be inside.
By late Sunday evening, firefighters had extinguished the flames that shot through the home in the 500 block of West 123rd Terrace for several hours. As they worked the fire, Capt. Charlie Cashen — who was among the first to arrive at the scene — was being treated at the University of Kansas Hospital for second degree burns along one arm, elbow and part of his back, said James Garrett, a Fire Department battalion chief and spokesman.
“He went to the front of the residence, and as he went to the front, something took place where he was burned,” Garrett said. That prompted a “mayday” call, and the structure was evacuated.
The person still thought to be in the home had reportedly been in a basement room. On Monday morning, there was still no announcement about that person.
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Shortly before 6 p.m. someone inside the home called 911.
By the time firefighters arrived, the front of the home “was pretty involved,” Garrett said.
Neighbors, who say a family has lived in the home for many years, recalled looking into the windows and seeing flames. Around 7 p.m., after a partial roof collapse, crews called off an inside search.
Crews worked the fire in frigid temperatures. A neighbor walked the street of upscale homes inside the Timber Trace subdivision offering coffee from a thermos.
Neighbors also worried about the couple who lived there, who neighbors say have grown children and are known to walk their dogs in the neighborhood.
At 9:30, two women escorted a distraught woman, believed to be an owner, into a neighbor’s house across from the burning structure. A few minutes later, that woman came back outside, talking to someone on a cellphone as firefighters continued to work.
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