Kansas City firefighters rescued a 72-year-old man from a burning house Friday afternoon near Swope Park.
The man apparently escaped with three other residents of the home, but went back inside before fire crews arrived, according to witnesses.
As firefighters pulled up to the scene, the man remained inside, talking to dispatchers on the phone after becoming trapped by the fire in a second-floor bedroom.
Firefighters quickly got him out, and he was taken to a hospital with “very serious” injuries, said Deputy Chief James Garrett, a Kansas City Fire Department spokesman.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
The fire in the 3800 block of East 62nd Street was reported about 1:15 p.m.
Neighbors identified the injured man as Elmer Harris, a longtime neighborhood resident.
A neighbor said she called 911 after seeing flames coming from a second-floor window.
She and her family helped clear the home, assisting Harris’ children, Anthony and Dee Dee Harris, as well Harris’ sister-in-law, Janice Winters.
After firefighters brought the elder Harris out, they put him on a gurney, the neighbor said.
Although Harris had a stroke last year, he still picked up food once a week at a church pantry and delivered it to families on his street, the neighbor said.
Dee Dee Harris said she thought the fire started in her bedroom.
“We tried to put the fire out with water, but it was spreading too big,” she said.