Neighbors say family of Northland fire that killed young girl were loving, kind


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A young girl is dead and her parents are in critical condition after an early morning fire in the Northland. The Kansas City Police Department has not released the identity of the girl.

The Kansas City Fire Department says it doesn’t believe the home had working smoke detectors. It happened off North Chestnut Avenue and Northeast Russell Road, which is near Northeast Parvin and Antioch roads.

Neighbors tell FOX4 they were a happy family, a loving couple and their young daughter. For them, it’s hard to believe she’s gone, and they won’t see her smiling face again.

On Thursday morning, neighbors awoke to the smell of smoke and called KCFD. They were on the scene within five minutes.

“They were met with two adults outside of the house. Smoke and fire was showing,” Jason Spreitzer a public information officer for the Kansas City Fire Department said.

The small single-family home was engulfed in flames when they arrived and found two adults burned on the front lawn.

“They performed a search and they found a third victim at that location. They pulled that victim out of the fire and started treating on scene,” Spreitzer said.

That victim, the young girl, was under 10 years old. She died at a nearby hospital and her parents are critically injured.

Their neighbor Cheri Tauvar said they’ve lived in the neighborhood around seven years.

“I feel awful. I wish there was something I could do to – but no human can take back a life, and I understand their daughter died. It’s dreadful. Awful,” Touvar said.

She said the family was always a happy sight on their street and they were kind to her.

“It was very nice. I liked seeing the husband and the wife when their daughter was very young, and she couldn’t ride her bicycle they would help her and push her up and down the street,” Tauvar said.

Several neighbors tell FOX4 they often saw the happy young girl playing in the neighborhood and smiling. KCFD says looking at the home and knowing what happened is a difficult sight.

“This is somebody’s life, right? When I see this – this is home, and this is a family that was here. For me, how do you not put yourself in that situation? How do you not think about your own kids and your own family?” Spreitzer said.

It’s unclear what started the fire minutes after midnight. KCFD said neighbors and first responders didn’t hear smoke alarms.

“Smoke alarms do work. They help save lives,” Spreitzer said.

Crews are investigating the cause of the fire but don’t immediately suspect foul play. Tauvar says she hopes to see her neighbors again.

“I really would like to give them a message to keep being strong and try to pull through this tragedy and that we’re standing with them,” Tauvar said.

KCPD has not released the name of the girl at this time.

The fire department wants to remind everyone of how important smoke alarms are and they will give them to you for free. If you need smoke alarms for your home you can call KCFD at (816) 513-4648 or you can go onto their website for more information.

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