School friends rally to help Raytown burn victim

Lisa Smallwood was always ready to help her children’s schools. Now friends with the school are coming to her aid.

Smallwood was in critical condition Monday, two days after firefighters rescued her from her burning Raytown home early Saturday.

“This is very sad for our school,” said Angie Gordon, who serves with Smallwood on the Robinson Elementary School PTA in Raytown. “Parents have been calling and everyone’s asking, ‘How is she?’”

Smallwood, 42, was unconscious in an upstairs bedroom when firefighters David Andrews and Darren Summers found her in a house engulfed in fire and got her to safety. Smallwood suffered third-degree burns on 30 percent of her body. She was taken to the University of Kansas Hospital.

Investigators think the fire was accidental and probably started in the kitchen, Battalion Chief Mike Hunley said Monday. But the origin of the fire remains undetermined.

Gordon went to see the house Saturday and saw the shards of its blackened sides and its roof totally gone.

“Oh my gosh, I couldn’t believe she was still alive.”

The firefighters, she said, “were heroes to go in that house like that.”

Smallwood, in addition to her work at Robinson, is a regional director for the Missouri PTA and visits many school meetings in the area, helping them and bringing new ideas to Robinson.

“She’s so enthusiastic,” Gordon said. “She has a heart for the educational system.”

Friends at Robinson, at 6707 Woodson Road, are collecting items, especially clothing for Smallwood’s 10-year-son, who wears extra-large sizes. The Lisa Smallwood Benefit Fund also has been set up for donations through any branch of Blue Ridge Bank and Trust Co.