UPDATE: Monday, July 30, 2012
An El Dorado couple is picking up the pieces after a devastating explosion and fire sent them to the hospital and destroyed their house. It happened just after 5 p.m. Sunday in the 1900 block of Jason Drive in El Dorado. The couple say they're lucky to be alive after both of them suffered burns and smoke inhalation.
Within hours of being released from the hospital, Van and Sharon Pooler started the process of digging through the blackened skeleton of what used to be their home. Van Pooler says he saw the fire spread out of the valve of their grill's propane tank just shortly after he started it.
"I went in to get the towel and the propane tank blew. There was a huge explosion and fire everywhere," said Van Pooler.
He says the fire spread quickly to the deck and then the house. Neighbors watched in disbelief as flames quickly consumed the home.
"They just got the house in the perfect state and now this. It's heartbreaking," said neighbor Scott Meyer.
Investigators say the house a total loss. The Poolers and family members who came in from out of town are working to save what they can from the debris. They were able to salvage some handmade quilts but they could not save one of the couple's dogs that died in the fire.
"It's like losing one of your family - it's pretty tough. She was old and blind and that's why she couldn't get out," said Van Pooler.
Van and Sharon both suffered first- and second-degree burns on their faces as they tried to go back into the burning home to rescue their dogs. Two of the pets did get out safely.
Fire investigators warn homeowners to keep grills on concrete away from their homes just in case something like this happens.
UPDATE: Monday, July 30, 2012
Two people hurt in an El Dorado House fire over the weekend have been released from a Wichita hospital.
The fire broke out in the 1900 block of Jason Drive around 5 p.m. Sunday.
Investigators said a patio grill may have started the blaze, catching the side of the house on fire. The fire quickly spread throughout the home, forcing firefighters to battle the blaze from the outside.
Two people were taken to a Wichita hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and minor burns. A spokeswoman says the patients have been treated and released.
On Monday, family and friends arrived at the home to help the homeowners salvage what the fire did not destroy.
KAKE's Deb Farris is in El Dorado, watch for her reports on later KAKE newscasts.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
Four people were hospitalized after suffering from burns and smoke inhalation in an El Dorado house fire. The blaze was reported just after 5 p.m. Sunday in the 1900 block of Jason Drive.
Officials say a patio grill caught the side of the house on fire. The flames were so intense that crews had to fight the fire defensively from outside the home.
Two people suffering from facial burns and smoke inhalation were taken to an El Dorado hospital in critical condition. They were later transported to a Wichita hospital. Two others suffered less severe smoke inhalation and were also hospitalized in El Dorado. Their names and ages have not been released.
The fire is under investigation. Officials say the damage to the home is so severe that they believe it will be ruled a total loss.