Man dies in Overland Park house fire near 115th and Nieman


OVERLAND PARK, Mo. — A fire at a home in Overland Park left one man dead Thursday afternoon.

The Overland Park Fire Department was called to 115th Street and Nieman Road on reports of heavy smoke coming from a two-story home.

As fire crews began to fight the flames, a neighbor told them that a man was possibly inside.

Crews entered the home and found the man on the second floor and he was taken to an area hospital in critical condition where he later died.

The man has been identified as 77-year-old David Zabriskie of Overland Park. Neighbors said the older man lived alone in the house after recently losing his wife.

“I come out and immediately see smoke fire and fire coming out of the upper floor of his home,” said next door neighbor Kathleen Jenkins, who raced outside after hearing emergency sirens. “I was scared because I knew he was by himself and his wife was deceased for a little bit of time so I was quite concerned.”

The fire was under control in a few minutes and contained to the living room. The entire residence suffered smoke damage, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Jenkins often sits on her front porch and would exchange pleasantries with Zabriskie on his way to and from the mailbox. From what she saw, it would have been difficult for him to escape his home quickly in a fire.

“It was like a 10 minute process,” Jenkins said. “Sometimes he had a cane and sometimes he didn’t, but I could see visibly that he was it was a hardship for him to even get to his mail.”

Neither Jenkins nor fire crews heard smoke detector signals going off. Investigators are looking into if the home had any sort of working early warning system.

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