Thursday, July 05, 2012
The Hutchinson fire chief says fireworks are to blame for destroying a Hutchinson home. It happened in the 200 block of Buckskin around 2 a.m. Thursday.
Crews arrived at the scene to find the entire length of the home engulfed. Firefighters were forced to fight the blaze from the outside due to structural concerns.
The family managed to escape safely after their two dogs alerted the homeowners to the danger. The dogs did not survive.
Debris from spent fireworks littered the entire neighborhood Thursday. Fire Chief Kim Forbes says two hours after the last fireworks were seend and heard, Stout's beloved Golden Retrievers began barking uncontrollably, alerting them that something was wrong.
The Stouts went outside to investigate. They were unable to get back inside to save the dogs. Most neighbors were unwilling to speak to us, but one person owned up to the possibility that it could have been her activity that led to this.
Ahliah Hernandez says she will not do fireworks next year and struggled with the reality that the Stouts lives have been turned upside down through no fault of their own.
"It's just not a good choice," Hernandez said. "It's just bad. To think a little firework can cause something like this, it's not worth it."
Fire Chief Kim Forbes said the fire appears to have smoldered for hours on the wood shake shingle roof.
"With the wind blowing on it, the ember just lays there," Forbes said. "It can find a groove in the roof and insulate itself and build up heat until it reaches the ignition temperature."
The fire caused an estimated $600,000 in damage to the home of retired doctor Jim Stout.