Man dies following house fire in KCMO

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A man is dead following a house fire in Kansas City on Wednesday. The fatal fire happened near 70th and Benton.

Fire crews said a space heater inside of the home caused the fire.

Family members said the man's name was Gerald Futrell. According to his family, his furnace was broken and he had been using three space heaters to keep warm because he didn't have the money to fix it.

Despite the slick roads, a fire department spokesman said crews got to the home three minutes after the call came in, but unfortunately Futrell didn't make it.

FOX 4 saw crews on the scene trying to resuscitate him. He was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. We’re hearing that he was the only person inside the home at the time, but it's not clear if he lived alone. We're also told there was no working smoke detector in the house.

Fire department spokesman James Garrett says when the temperature drops, crews see a spike in house fires.

"During this season period we have more fires relative to the season. People do some unconventional things to stay warm. My understanding is that there was no gas in the house as well. So that may have added to what we may find in the house," Garrett said.

You're reminded to be careful with heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces, and as always, get a smoke detector. If you can't afford one, the Kansas City Fire Department will give you one for free.



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