Historic KC home destroyed in blaze

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Flames consumed a historic Kansas City, Mo., home in the old northeast that was undergoing renovations early Monday  morning.

Around 5:15 a.m., firefighters were dispatched to a historic four-story home near Norledge and N. Indiana. The home sits across from the Kansas City Museum.

The home, which was built in the 1888, was vacant at the time of the fire.

A neighbor tells FOX 4 he first noticed flames and smoke coming from the top turret of the home while he was walking the dog.

Gabe Cranz says he was walking his dog when he noticed flames and smoke coming from the home.

Gabe Cranz says he was walking his dog when he noticed flames and smoke coming from the home.

"I just saw kind of a glow behind here, and I know the houses back here," neighbor Gabe Cranz said. "I just happen to know the owners here, and I didn't want it to be a fire, but by the time I got around here and saw some more smoke, I realizes there was a heavy fire going on."

Cranz said he called 911 immediately and noticed the fire quickly spread from the roof to the third floor.

"My initial concern was more for the house," Cranz said. "Of course, if they would have been in there I would've been concerned, but just knowing them, I knew they probably were not in the house.  I got on the phone with the fire department to hopefully get them here just in case they were in the house."

Several decades ago the home was an elderly care facility, but a family from Hiawatha, Kan., bought the home about four years ago. The home was also listed to the National Register of Historic Places. According to its registry, the home is significant because it is one of John Wellborn's last remaining works in Kansas City and one of his few works done in Missouri. Wellborn was a well-known American architect from Chicago.

William Chick Scarritt also lived in the home. Scarritt became one of the city's foremost legal and civic-minded individuals. In the late 1890s Scarritt was appointed to Board of Police Commissioners. Scarritt not only assisted in the preparation of law for the Park System, he also became one of the strongest advocates for the Kansas City's conceived Parks and Boulevards System, the registry says.

A fire destroyed a historic KCMO home early Monday morning.

A fire destroyed a historic KCMO home early Monday morning.

"It's an amazing home," Battalion Chief Brian England said. "It's a beautiful home. I talked to the owners, and they spent a lot of money remodeling it. They said it was pretty much done. They had completely remodeled it, and they entertain here regularly on weekends. So it is a shame because it is an amazing building. A beautiful part of Kansas City history that unfortunately got destroyed."

The family was working to return the home to its former glory because it was in such poor shape. So far they had spent $1.5- million in repairs and upgrades.

"The first floor never really got hit by fire but of course there's thousands of gallons of water running through it right now so that will remain to be seen," Battalion Chief England said.

By Monday afternoon, the homeowners had arrived on the scene and were trying to salvage some of the paintings that were displayed inside the historic home. They were also working to remove anything else that could be saved.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

KCMO firefighters battling large blaze at historic home.

KCMO firefighters battling large blaze at historic home.

KCMO firefighters battling large blaze at historic home.

KCMO firefighters battling large blaze at historic home.

KCMO firefighters battling large blaze at historic home.

KCMO firefighters battling large blaze at historic home.