Family mourns after massive Garden City, Mo. house fire claims grandfather’s life

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GARDEN CITY, Mo. – A fire, which completely leveled a large two story Missouri home, just 45 minutes southeast of Kansas City, Mo., claimed the life of one person. Another man barely made it out alive.

Fire Chief Mark Lopez with the Garden City, Missouri Fire Department confirmed that shortly after seven o’clock Tuesday morning a house located at 34309 E. 355th Street was fully engulfed in flames. The blaze took the life of one adult victim.

The family of the victim is devastated after their loved one died inside the burning home. The victim’s body was found in the living room, just after 3:30 p.m. Family members were holding on to the hope that the victim, who they identified as their grandfather was alive, but hope was dashed when his body was found.

According to the victim’s family the house belonged to their Grandfather Melton, who was living in the house with his stepson when the flames started.

“I had enough time from the time I deterred the house was on fire was to grab a pair of pants and a pair of shoes,” said Dennis Shelton.

Dennis Shelton leaped out of the second story window and made it out alive. His stepfather was still somewhere in the house, so family members looked for any signs of hope.

“He was loving, but in a Clint Eastward, John Wayne kind of style. He wouldn’t tell you he loved you but you could tell by his eyes and his demeanor that he loved you conditionally,” said Donald Shelton of his grandfather.

After an eight hour long search, reality hit. Cadaver dogs arrived to narrow down the search. That’s when firefighters found his  body. It’s a shock the family is still trying to absorb.

“Now he’s got his closure, and that he’s at peace now with our grandmother is at least a good sign,” said Donald.

Lopez said that when fire crews arrived at the scene, the fire was so intense they could not get inside to rescue the man.

The Cass County Arson Task Force, the State Fire Marshall and the Jackson County Med Examiner all assisted at the scene.

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