Dad runs through smoke and flames to rescue 7-year-old son from burning home

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- One father from the Northland said he'd die to protect his kids, and he nearly had to prove it on Sunday, as he rescued his son, who has autism, from the family home after it caught fire.

They nearly lost everything. When Phillip Shaner's family of five, who hail from Kansas City's Northland, came home from errands, they settled in, only to discover their house was on fire.

brothersThere were flames all around when Shaner rescued his son. Shaner and his wife, Jennifer Profitt, have three children, including two sons who have autism.

The couple had gotten one of the boys out when he realized the other was still stuck inside.

The home on N. Booth Avenue is a total loss. However, Shaner and Profitt are breathing a deep sigh of relief.

A neighbor's cell phone video shows the scene from Sunday, as the home burned and firefighters did their best to save it. Shaner said he realized something was amiss when he smelled smoke in the garage.

"It was a matter of seconds. The flames shot up at me," Shaner said.

Shaner said he realized one of the children was still in the home, and he raced back inside to rescue the boy.

Shaner, who works as a pipeline inspector, said he wouldn't have returned from the burning home without his son.


"I had a matter of, maybe, two minutes. I broke a big bay window -- a double pane. I got my youngest boy out," Shaner told FOX 4 News.

Profitt said her husband used a small footstool, smashing out a large sliding glass door, to get the 7-year-old boy to safety.

"I grabbed him and I ran through the broken glass and I started yelling 'help' to my neighbors. We got outside and everything was okay," Shaner said.

The family lost all their material possessions in the fire, even the brand new four-door car they'd purchased late last week. It sits in the burned out home's driveway, riddled by fire and smoke damage.

However, the family's concerns remain with their kids. Profitt said the two boys aren't aware their home is gone.

"They just think we'll fix it. When they break a toy, daddy will fix it. You can't fix this. There's nothing you can do about this," Profitt said on Monday.

"I mostly feel thankful that I got my family out. Home is wherever your family is. Your family can't be replaced," Shaner said.

The family is staying at a nearby hotel for a couple of days. Investigators aren't sure what caused the fire, but Shaner said he saved what matters most.


A GoFundMe page has been started to help the family during these tough times.