KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Side-by-side, two east Kansas City houses burned on Thursday morning.
Two first responders, both Kansas City Firefighters, were injured fighting the blaze, when a 12-foot elevated porch they were standing on fell, taking the firefighters and their gear with it.
Kansas City Assistant Fire Chief Jimmy Walker said their injuries looked serious at first but by noontime, both men were sent home after treatment.
Walker said embers from one home at 25th and Elmwood spread to the house next door, burning that home’s attic. Both houses suffered significant damage. Three people in all ran to safety.
“It just goes to show you it’s a dangerous job. Every time we roll out the door, we know what we’re getting into, and we train hard for situations like this,” Walker said.
Homes in that neighborhood are set close together, some of which are only a few feet apart. Walker said it’s not uncommon to see a chain reaction, where one burning home can cause numerous others to burn.
“By the time I woke up, everything was in flames — big flames,” Enrique Alcocer, a neighbor said. “It was pretty bad. On a scale of one to 10, it’s probably an eight or nine. I was really scared.”
Walker said the cause of the fire is still being investigated, but he ruled out lightning from ongoing thunderstorms as being a potential cause.
“If we hadn’t attacked this so aggressively, and done such a good job with our crews on the scene, we would have burned down to the end of the block,” Walker said.