Investigators believe woman’s oxygen fueled deadly apartment fire in the Northland

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A woman died Friday afternoon in an apartment fire in Kansas City, officials say.

“It’s sad. I’ll be praying for her and her family, and it’s devastating,” neighbor Emily Jo Nance said. 

Family describe the victim as a 78-year-old grandmother.

The fire occurred in the Northland Heights apartment complex on N.W. 85th Terrace in the Northland, just south of Highway 152 and east of east of Green Hills Road.

The woman lived on the first floor of the 2-story apartment building, Assistant Fire Chief Jimmy Walker said.

No one else was injured. However, at least 20 people were displaced by the fire that destroyed the eight-unit building, and 16 other units likely will also be affected until power can be restored. The Red Cross is assisting those affected. 

The cause is under investigation, but Walker said there was a rapid spread of fire and the woman was on oxygen so they believe that is related.

“We know that she was a smoker. I’m not going to say yet that could of caused it, but here we are today our second fatality fire,” Walker said. 

Early in the day, a fast-moving fire left a home in the Historic Northeast gutted, and two men in their 60s were killed. A third man narrowly escaped through an upstairs window.

KCFD investigators think careless smoking is to blame in that Northeast fire, and the home was missing smoke alarms.

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