Friends remember former KC firefighter who died in Sunday house fire

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Friends gathered outside the scene of a house fire that claimed the life of a former Kansas City firefighter -- someone they said made everyone smile.

FOX 4's John Pepitone was outside the home at 37th and College where the fire claimed the life of Harold Woods Jr.

Harold Woods Jr. was known to a lot of people in Kansas City by his nickname "Greasy." Many of those friends showed up outside the burned up home to remember him.

Firefighters rushed to the house at around 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Two people inside the house had escaped safely, but witnesses said Woods went back inside.

This doesn't surprise many of the people who knew him well. They said he was a firefighter back in the 1970s, and had a long history of putting others before himself.

"His name is Harold, but we know him as Greasy," said friend John Riley. "But that don't surprise me. If Greasy was on your team, he was on your team. And for him to go back up into a burning building, that don't surprise me at all. You know, he used to be a firefighter."

What does surprise many people is that, investigators said, the home did not have any working smoke detectors.

His friends said Greasy liked to have fun. They said he was a good dancer, known for the two-step, and he won many a dance contest.

This home was the man's childhood home, and it pains many of his friends to see it reduced to a charred ruin. They hope it will soon be torn down, to help erase the memory of the tragedy that happened here.

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