One child died and three others were injured as Kansas City, Kan., firefighters battled a blaze at an apartment complex Saturday, authorities said.
Kansas City, Kan., Fire Marshal John Droppelmann said a 4-year-old was killed, another juvenile was injured and two adults were injured. The injured juvenile was released from the hospital. An adult has non-life-threatening injuries. The condition of the second adult was not known, Droppelmann said.
The fire drove residents from the College Park Townhomes in the 700 block of North 70th Terrace as smoke billowed through the neighborhood and groups gathered in the nearby streets to watch.
Ambulances, fire trucks and vehicles with the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office were on the scene.
The fire was "pretty severe" when crews arrived late Saturday morning, said Kevin Shirley, chief of the Kansas City, Kan., Fire Department.
The cause of the fire was unknown. Authorities did not release the identities of the victims.
A man on Twitter identified himself as a cousin of the fatal victim, writing, "My family was caught in the fire and my little cousin didn't make it. My other cousins are currently in the hospital in critical condition. Pray for my family Kansas City."
Frederick Tucker, who lives just a few doors down, said he was sitting in his kitchen when he heard a loud noise.
"By the time I got up to go the back door, to open my back door I heard another boom," he said. "And fire just shot out (the neighbors') back door."
Raven Woods was displaced from her home and looked on with a crowd as crews fought the fire.
"I'm hoping that it ain't ... I don't know, I think it's smoke damaged," she said. "I know they kicked in my back door ... but at least my kids ain't in there."
People are "freaking out," said neighbor Terri Anderson. "You wanna know why? Because there's (not) much space between your apartment and the neighbor's apartment. ... If one house goes, there's no way it's not going to burn the other house."
By 1:30 in the afternoon, the smoke had largely faded from the neighborhood, though emergency crews remained on the scene. Members of the American Red Cross were also on hand to help those affected by the fire.
This story has been updated to reflect Droppelmann's Saturday afternoon update that corrected inaccurate information released by Kansas City, Kan., police about the number of fatal victims in the fire.