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Merriam man burning leaves says fire spread to his deck; house likely a loss

Firefighters in Johnson County are warning about the dangers of open burning after a man burning leaves Sunday says the fire spread to his deck. The house, in the 10100 block of West 65nd Street, was likely a total loss.
Firefighters in Johnson County are warning about the dangers of open burning after a man burning leaves Sunday says the fire spread to his deck. The house, in the 10100 block of West 65nd Street, was likely a total loss.

A man burning leaves in his backyard of his Merriam house says the fire got out of control and spread to his deck and likely destroyed his home Sunday afternoon.

No one was injured in the fire. The house, however, was likely a loss.

The fire was reported shortly before 1 p.m. Sunday in the 10100 block of West 65nd Street in Merriam.

According to a release from the Overland Park Fire Department:

The first firefighters on the scene reported heavy smoke coming from the back of the house.

Firefighters from the Overland Park and Shawnee fire departments attacked the blaze, but they were slowed by downed power lines in the back yard. A crew from Kansas City Power & Light responded to de-engerize the lines.

Firefighters took 40 minutes bringing the blaze under control.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. The homeowner, however, told firefighters that he was burning leaves and saw flames spread to his deck. He call 911 and got his wife out of the house. Their three cats also made it out safely.

An Overland Park Fire officials said the fire is a reminder of the dangers of open burning, especially on a warm, windy day. People are urged to follow regulations for open burning as well as consider weather conditions before starting a burn.

More information on fire safety can be found at OPKansas.org.

Robert A. Cronkleton: 816-234-4261, @cronkb

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