Archive for Wednesday, September 23, 1992


September 23, 1992


A fire early today in a southwest Lawrence mobile home left a young Lawrence boy in critical condition at a Kansas City hospital and sent a firefighter to Lawrence Memorial Hospital with a dislocated ankle.

Mark Fox, the injured boy, suffered severe smoke inhalation and minor burns in the blaze at the mobile home, on Lot H30 in Gaslight Village, 1900 W. 31st.

After being rescued about 7:30 a.m. by Lawrence firefighters from a north bedroom of the home, Fox was taken by Douglas County paramedics to Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

He then was taken by Life Flight helicopter to the Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan., where he was listed in critical condition this afternoon in the intensive care unit.

Firefighter Clifford Smith was listed in fair condition early this afternoon at LMH, where he was being treated for a severe dislocation of the right ankle. Lawrence Fire Chief Jim McSwain said Smith was walking on a porch when he became entangled in hoses and fell down.

McSwain said Smith was in severe pain and said "it's going to be a while before he gets back on the job."

McSwain said firefighters were called at 7:14 a.m. to the mobile home, and the first crew arrived at 7:19 a.m.

Before firefighters arrived, two women and a girl who live in the park had helped a woman and a younger child escape from the mobile home.

One of the rescuers, Kay Sanders, said she was on her way home after taking her daughter to school when she saw smoke coming from the mobile home.

"I just tore open the door," she said. "I saw a chain on it, so I knew somebody was in there." She kicked in the door and went inside.

Sanders said the woman crawled out of a north bedroom window. She said the woman told her that her two sons were still inside.

"When I heard that, I went back in and started yelling for them," she said.

Meanwhile, Judi Hens, a neighbor, arrived with Samantha Vigliatura, the daughter of Hens' fiance.

After Sanders came back out of the trailer, she and Samantha boosted Hens up to the window so she could pluck a toddler out of the trailer.

Firefighters this morning would not release the names of the mobile home's other occupants. McSwain said he also did not know the boys' ages.

McSwain said firefighters were still trying to determine the cause of the blaze, which was declared under control at 7:27 a.m.

During a press conference today at Fire Station No. 1, 745 Vt., Dwane Biggerstaff, commander of the first truck at the scene, said the trailer was "pretty well involved" in flames when he arrived.

Damage appeared to be heaviest in the south part of the mobile home, which was destroyed.

About 15 fire department employees in four trucks responded to the blaze.

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