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Neighbors hear fireworks as Northland home burns

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A family of four is without a place to live after their Northland home burned early Tuesday.  And it turns out, there's one thing that might've made the damage worse.

A home in the 11000 block of N. Booth in Kansas City now sits boarded up, after being gutted by fire around 3 a.m. Tuesday.

"I didn't have time to think.  I just panicked," said neighbor Tarik Strozier.

Strozier was outside when the fire started and raced down the street to help.

"I kicked in one of the windows and he went up on the deck on the back and that's when the lady had came out and got the dogs out and then we waited for the fire trucks to get here," Strozier said.

Thankfully, everyone is okay.  While the official cause of the fire is undetermined, neighbors have their suspicions based on what they could hear in the area.

"Me and my neighbor, we heard fireworks," said Strozier.

Kansas City's Fire Department had an extra challenge knocking down the flames.  The fire hydrant directly in front of the home wasn't working, forcing them to call Liberty Fire for help and run hoses a thousand feet to the nearest functional hydrant.

"It's uncalled for," said neighbor Debra Logan.

A house just up the street, next to the working hydrant, caught fire recently and it has a lot less damage than the one that caught fire Wednesday next to the non-working hydrant.

"Firefighters are always doing a wonderful job.  It's just they need to have their equipment working like anybody else," said Logan.

Neighbors say response times in the area are already a bit slow, since there isn't a fire station nearby.  Now, they're left to hope problems with the hydrants will get fixed fast.

"I hope they will work on it and keep it in working condition for in case something like this happens again, they can take care of it," said neighbor Mirah Gaysaddin.

The Kansas City Water Department is responsible for maintaining hydrants and has a program to test them, in conjunction with KCFD.  We asked them about the failing hydrant on N. Booth, and plans to fix it, but so far, have not received a response.

Neighbors have also set up a GoFundMe page to help the family affected by this fire.