Fire Spreads to Three Homes in Independence

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -  A fire that starts with one home, spreads to three homes in a matter of minutes Wednesday.  The home where the fire started, is where a Blue Springs family planned own eventually, and move into next week.

Now, Laura Sola and her family are wondering what's next.

"This was our first home, we've been living in a duplex for years and I promised my kids that they would have a back yard," Sola said, holding back tears.

Firefighters in the blistering heat, try to put out  a fire that spread to other homes on 44th St. near S. Phelps Rd. Sola and her three kids, ages 4, 11, and 16, were inside the home when the fire started.  Sola said she and her kids saw smoke coming from a cable box, and when she went over to open the basement door, she was met with a plume of black smoke.

"My 16-year-old saved my life. She grabbed me and she's screaming, mom get out of the house, get out of the house now," she said.

They all got out, but the dry weather coupled with wind, kicked up embers that burned Sola's 16-year-old on the chest and caught grass and two neighboring homes on fire.

"It was a matter of three minutes that all three houses were involved," Frank Coots, City of Independence Emergency Management spokesperson, said.

Fire trucks lined the street and Coots said more than 40 firefighters and officials from several different agencies helped to contain the situation.

"Three homes having to be evacuated, the damage that's been done to this to the families, displacing them, it's a significant event," he said.

"We had already put money down, we were planning on moving in in less than a week, we have all the utilities on in our name. We have no insurance because like I said the house has been vacant for over a year," Sola said.

The home where the fire started is a total loss.  The family estimates they've lost $100,000 they've invested in the home.
But they say, at least, they have each other.

"Luckily we all got out alive, that's the most important thing," Sola said.

Coots said nobody besides Sola's daughter was hurt in this fire.  But a woman living in one of the neighboring homes was taken to the hospital because of unrelated health problems. There has been no official determination of the cause of the fire.

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