Let’s clear this from the start — a Mission Hills house fire Tuesday was far from your ordinary house fire.
This one included the threat of having police arrest the homeowner, the rescue of World Series tickets and the appearance of Royals great George Brett.
We pick up the story when Christine Maurer arrived home about 10 a.m. Tuesday after doing aerobics.
As she entered her home in the 6400 block of Norwood Street, she found heavy smoke inside.
“I immediately called 911 and they told me to go outside of the house,” Maurer said.
Maurer, however, had her mind set on another idea. She went up to the attic to see if she could see flames.
“There was so much smoke in the attic, I could barely get upstairs,” she said. The smoke was so thick, Maurer started coughing.
She got out of the house when firefighters arrived.
However, she remembered reading somewhere that women should grab their purses when escaping from a fire so that they have access to money.
So she ran into the house, grabbed her purse and ran back outside.
Maurer said she ran in and out of the house “probably a few” times.
Finally, a battalion chief stopped her and told her that if she went in again, he would have police arrest her.
“Then I remembered about the tickets to the World Series,” Maurer said. Her daughter was traveling into town so she could attend that night’s game. Maurer just had to get the tickets.
Chief Tony Lopez with Consolidated Fire District No. 2 in Johnson County said he arrived as the battalion chief was trying to keep her out.
Maurer pleaded for them to let her go in one more time. Lopez, however, had a firefighter, who had been freed up, get the tickets.
As the firefighter exited with the tickets, Brett, who lives in the neighborhood and was out walking his dog with his brother, stopped.
Maurer said Brett looked at the tickets and asked, “Are your tickets better than mine?”
Lopez said it was ironic being that the fire occurred on the first day of the World Series and Brett just happened to be passing by.
The fire ended up being a small fire and was extinguished quickly. It was caused by a light bulb with too high of wattage being placed in a light fixture.
Lopez cautioned that when there’s a fire, people should exit their home as quickly as possible and stay out.
“Don’t go back in to retrieve items when you have a fire,” Lopez said. “Let us do that. We are trained to do that.”
Robert A. Cronkleton, firstname.lastname@example.org