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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

VIDEO: Homemade fireworks and hoarding complicate firefighters efforts in JoCo house fire

Posted: June 18, 2013 - 3:23am
Updated: June 18, 2013 - 6:02am

Overland Park firefighters were called to respond on a house fire shortly before 2 a.m. Tuesday, in the 8800 block of Westbrooke Drive. The address is near the intersection of 88th Terrace and Farley Street.

Crews arrived to report flames visible from a basement window on the front side of the single story home. As those crews entered the home they found that a resident had been hoarding items inside several rooms.

A fire in the basement was knocked down within about 20 minutes. Crews found that the fire had extended to the first floor. As crews worked to make access to the fire, piles of debris became a problem.

Aerial image of the area
Click image to view larger
Radio traffic reported three to four foot piles of material in several rooms of the home. The piles made it difficult for crews to check the integrity of the floor and to fully extinguish the fire quickly.

A resident reported a room on the first floor was being used to store some homemade fireworks and ammunition. Firefighters backed out of the house when some of those items began to discharge.

As of this report, crews are more than one hour and 20 minutes into the incident and they remain on the scene. Incident command reported the fire to be under control at 3:17 a.m.. Command reported "fire out" at 3:32 a.m..

A news release from the Overland Park Fire Department says the residents of the home awoke to the smell of smoke. Four residents were able to evacuate safely prior to the arrival of firefighters. One resident was treated for minor burns. The home suffered fire damage to the basement and first floor, with significant smoke damage throughout the house.

Investigators believe that the home did not have any working smoke alarms. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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