Family calls for justice in ‘suspicious’ fire that killed Kansas City woman

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City fire and police departments are still investigating what caused a deadly fire being called “suspicious.”

The fire happened near 55th and Woodland just before 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Family members tell FOX4 66-year-old Dora Gamble lived in the home more than 20 years. She died from injuries sustained in the fire, and her 3-year-old grandson Elijah is still fighting for his life.

While it’s not officially being ruled a homicide, loved ones believe someone is responsible for what happened to Gamble and want justice.

Clouds of smoke billowed from Gamble’s long-time home Wednesday evening. The mother of three and grandmother to nine was watching her grandson when the fire started.

“It’s just like I’m dreaming, and I’m going to wake up,” said Gamble’s sister, Gladys Dawson.

Dawson is heartbroken that Gamble didn’t survive.

“She had a very beautiful personality. She was a good girl, and I’m going to miss her,” Dawson said.

But Dawson also said the deadly fire never should’ve happened. Investigators are calling the fire “suspicious,” and they said they found Gamble in a closet and Elijah under a chair. Both had no pulse when removed from the home.

“We investigate every fatality or serious injury fire like it could be suspicious. So we’re just doing what we’d normally do in this instance, but we’re not leaving any stone unturned,” said Jimmy Walker, Kansas City Fire Department assistant chief.

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Family members said Gamble had been in a volatile relationship and filed three restraining orders against her partner. Court records show the most recent, filed in November, was still active.

“He kept harassing her, you know. I told her to get away. Leave that. Leave the house. Your life is more important than staying in that house,” Dawson said.

Dawson had reasons to worry Gamble wasn’t safe, but she still never thought it might lead to something like this.

“He’s got to be held accountable for what he done. She didn’t deserve this. She didn’t deserve to leave her family. She don’t deserve that,” Dawson said.

FOX4 is not naming Gamble’s partner because he’s not facing criminal charges at this time. Police haven’t confirmed if he is in custody.  

Three-year-old Elijah is being treated and remains in critical condition.

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