KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Kansas City, Kan., firefighters are investigating after one person died from their injuries associated with a duplex fire.
According to a tweet from the KCK Fire Chief John Paul Jones, the fire broke out around 11 p.m. Monday at a home just northeast of 47th and Shawnee Drive.
A neighbor says he saw flames erupting from the building and saw the husband outside the home. The neighbor asked if everyone was out safely, and the man said his wife was still inside.
Two neighbors say they worked desperately to try to get to the woman, who relatives identified as Tammy Mitchell, but the smoke was too thick and the flames were too hot.
"I went up to the front door and the flames were just too big," said Jared Stinnet, who tried to get the woman out. "It was too hot to even do anything to enter there. I just kicked out the window next to me, the bottom right, trying to see if I could hear any voice. I didn’t hear anything. I just waited for the firefighters to show up and do what they could do to pull her out of there."
Neighbors say the fire appeared to be concentrated in the living room, where the victim had been sleeping.
The woman's husband, Mike, is currently battling cancer but was able to escape the fire. He told neighbors that when he last saw his wife, she was falling asleep on the sofa, and he feared that she may have had a lit cigarette in her hand.
Rescue crews pulled the woman out and rushed her to the hospital, but just before 7 a.m. Tuesday, the fire chief reported that she had died from her injuries.
Neighbors describe Mike and Tammy as a kind couple who liked to barbecue and play with their grandchildren.