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Unattended Stove Blamed For House Fire

By: Parrish Alleman Email
By: Parrish Alleman Email

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UIPDATE: Saturday, June 30, 2012

A stove burner that was left on sparked a fire that gutted a south Wichita home Saturday. It happened in the 5500 block of south Emporia around four Saturday afternoon.

The Red Cross is providing a hotel room for the two people who live there because they won't be able to stay at their home, anytime soon.

“I'm just still thanking God that we got out of there. I’m just thanking God that I didn't leave,” house fire victim Kay Terrell said.

Kay Terrell says she was on her way out the door to her granddaughter's house, leaving her grandson sleeping at home, when a sound stopped her in her tracks.

“I heard a boom noise and I got up to go around the kitchen corner and all I could see was fire shooting up,” Terrell said.

Terrell says she turned around, headed for the door and yelled to wake her grandson up.

“I stomped on the floor because he was down in the basement. He was asleep and I told him come up, come up the house is on fire,” Terrell said.

“As crews showed up, we had heavy black smoke showing and flames coming out the front,” Battalion Chief Tom Carney said.

Both Terrell and her grandson made it out safely but nearly everything inside her home is gone. Family members went through and saved what they could. What they couldn't save now sits in a mangled, melted pile on her lawn. But Terrell says she's not worried about what's gone, she's grateful for what and who she still has.

“That's material stuff we can replace all of that I just can't replace a life,” Terrell said.

Fire investigators say the damage to the inside of Terrell’s home combined with her destroyed property makes for a total loss of about $140,000 in damage.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

A south Wichita woman and her grandson have been forced from their home after it was heavily damaged by fire. The fire started just before 5 p.m. Saturday in the 5500 block of South Emporia Street.

Officials say firefighter arrived on the scene to find flames and black smoke pouring from the home. The fire was heaviest in the kitchen and living room.

Investigators believe the blaze started in the kitchen. The homeowner says she thinks it may have started because she forgot to turn off an electric burner on the stove.

The woman says she lives in the home with her grandson. She told fire investigators she heard what sounded like an explosion and saw smoke in the kitchen. She woke up her sleeping grandson and they were both able to get out of the house safely.

The Red Cross is helping the victims find a place to stay. Investigators say the fire caused approximately $140,000 in damage.


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