Woman killed in Overland Park house fire told police she feared for her safety

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Authorities have yet to release any information about what might have caused a deadly Overland Park house fire, but court documents reveal the woman killed feared for her safety in the weeks leading up to the fire.

Leonora Marks, 67, was killed in a house fire Sunday night near 75th and Kessler Street.

“It’s something I’ll never forget, and something you’ll never get out of your mind,” neighbor JoAnne Robbins said.

She and her husband saw the smoke pouring from the home around 9 p.m Sunday. Robbins’ husband and another neighbor tried to save Marks, sending the neighbor to the hospital and her husband in physical distress.

“My husband came out the front door on his knees choking and vomiting in that little bit of time, so I can’t imagine how quick it can get somebody,” she said.

Firefighters pulled the unconscious Marks from the basement and transported her to the hospital, but she didn’t survive.

On Monday afternoon, Overland Park police’s mobile command unit was still parked outside the home, as teams of investigators combed through the ashes looking for clues.

FOX4 has learned investigators also have been trying to contact Marks’ divorce attorney.

After 34 years of marriage, Marks filed for an ex-parte in August, saying she was sleeping in a separate room with a bar on the door and that she stopped at the police department at least twice for fear of going home.

A judge ordered her husband out of the home and required him to pay more than $2,000 in temporary monthly spousal support. Her husband and his attorney responded through court documents that Marks had long suffered from depression, was off her medication and becoming increasingly irrational.

With both police and fire investigators remaining tight-lipped right now about their investigation, friends and neighbors are left to wonder how the fire started and why Marks wasn’t able to escape it.

“They haven’t left here since last night. They’ve been here all day and night. I just want to find out what happened. I’m concerned. She’s like my family,” Robbins said. “It’s sad. I’m going to miss her.”



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