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Man being called 'hero' for alerting women inside burning home to leave

By: KAKE News, Bryan Ramsdale Email
By: KAKE News, Bryan Ramsdale Email
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Douglass, Kan. -- A Douglass family left homeless from a devastating fire beginning the journey or recovering.

Monday afternoon Natasha Paul and husband Adam Freed returned to the house at 409 S. Forrest in Douglas to see how extensive the damage is.

Paul says she wants the house to be rebuilt as it was before but with better fire protection.

Her mother escaped the fire only after being alerted by a neighbor banging on the front of the house.

The family's dog just had a litter of eight puppies last week. One of the puppies didn't survive the fire.

Now Paul is hoping to locate someone who can take care of the dog's while they're still nursing. Once the pups are weaned she wants to adopt them out.

A local veterinarian examined the pups and said they were okay.

As soon as we get adopting information we'll post it here at KAKE.com.


Previous story:

Natasha Paul came home to a house that had been gutted by a fire, but there is a large part of her that is thankful, thankful that her mother was able to get out without injury.

The fire started around 4:20 p.m. Sunday in the 400 block of South Forrest Street in Douglass. The small town of around 1,700 people is located around 20 miles southeast of Wichita.

The large, two story home, that some estimate to be over 80 years old, was putting off enough smoke that it could be seen from over five miles away.

Inside the home was one elderly women and possibly four children according to Fire Chief John Ford. He said it is not clear how the fire ignited, but it started in the front porch area and spread up the side of the home.

The women inside was not alerted to the fire immediately. Derek Prichard was walking in the downtown district of Douglass when he noticed the fire. He said he knew someone was home because he saw a car outside the home; Prichard was right. He went onto the burning porch, reaching the door of the home and according to him, "I just banged on the front door."

The women and anyone else in the home were alerted to the fire by Prichard and able to escape out the back. Prichard said she praised him as her hero and guardian angel. Paul also praised him saying, "people need to know, he is a hero."

Paul said that the home had a security system package that included smoke detectors, but for some reason, the alarm did not go off or her mother did not realize the alarm was going off.

The home is considered a total loss, with a preliminary damage estimate of $100,000 to $200,000 and an unknown amount of damage to property.

Original Story
A home is Douglass is a total loss following a house fire Sunday afternoon.

It happened around 4:30 p.m. Sunday at 409 South Forrest Street. An alert neighbor spotted fire in the front of the home and alerted an elderly woman inside.

Fire officials say the woman and her 4 grandchildren were able to escape safely. The fire appears to have started on the front porch and then spread into the home. However, the cause is still under investigation.

The home is a total loss. Preliminary damage is estimated at $100-200,000.

Units from Cowley County, Augusta and Belle Plaine assisted assisted Douglass firefighters in bringing the fire under control.


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