INDEPENDENCE, Mo.- Investigators are investigating a deadly fire as a potential arson.
One person died in the house fire near North Sioux Avenue and East Fifth Terrace Court North in Independence. The scene is not far from Cler-Mont Elementary School.
“It was just a giant ‘bang,'” Amanda Thomas, neighbor, said. “Just a huge explosion and bang. It was very very loud.”
Thomas lives right next door to where the explosion happened Monday evening. At first, she said she didn’t know if her home was the one that was on fire.
“After I had checked on everyone in my house to make sure it wasn’t anyone in my house, my husband was coming out here, and so I followed him out. I would say probably within, within a minute,” Thomas said. “I mean it was just long enough for me to run down here, check on my kids, and then back outside.”
Thomas says she and her husband tried to rescue the person inside the burning home, saying it almost looked like someone was throwing things out the window.
“We were out here screaming his name,” Thomas said. “My husband was trying to open the front door in case like he was trying to get it open, or if the dogs were in there that they could come out, and it was locked, so we just did the best we could to keep everyone clear until they got here.”
Thomas’ home had no damage, but the heat from the fire melted some of the siding on another home.
“It’s inexplicable,” Officer Kelley Rupert, Independence Police, said. “For someone to go to this length to not only damage property but potentially put somebody’s life at stake the way this has, these are unforgivable acts.”
No one’s in custody. The name of the person who died has not been released. Rupert would like anyone who has doorbell camera of Monday’s incident to contact the police department at 816-325-7300.