Archive for Sunday, September 17, 2006

Early morning fire kills at least two; three others missing

September 17, 2006, 5:12 a.m. Updated September 17, 2006, 8:25 p.m.


A three-alarm fire early this morning at 1205 N.J. killed at least two people, officials said.

Sunday evening, the dead were identified by authorities as Charles Glover Sr., 66, and Mariyana Johnson, 13 months.

Three other people, believed to be at the East Lawrence home when the fire broke out, were unaccounted for as of 7 p.m., according to Lawrence Fire Marshal Rich Barr.


Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical Chief Mark Bradford delivers a statement on the fire at 1205 N.J. Editor's note: Bradford misspoke on the age of the infant identified. Mariyana Johnson was 13 months old. Enlarge video

One person survived the fire, Barr said at an early afternoon news conference. That person, whom he did not identify, was described as "conscious and hospitalized."

Glover had been identified earlier in the day, by friends and family, as one of the fire victims.

His son, Charles Glover Jr., spent most of the day comforting his sister and other close family members.

"This is a trying time for me and the family," he said.

His father lived with four grandchildren at the house, where Glover Sr. lived in for the past five or six years.

"He was just being a grandpa," Glover Jr. said.

Property records and Journal-World archives indicated the home was owned by Learlean Hooks. The archives indicated she operated a food stand, Captain Hooks Barbecue, at least through 2004, based at 1205 N.J.

Barr said that the badly damaged house would have to be stabilized - probably by heavy equipment - before investigators could move into the house to seek both victims and answers to what caused the fire. At least one agent from the federal bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was on the scene to assist.

"We are conducting a major and calculated investigation," Barr said. He added later: "We may have to remove pieces of the building" in order to go forward with the search and investigation.

Barr said two police officers, one sheriff's deputy and one firefighter were injured; all were treated at LMH and released.

Charles Glover

Charles Glover

"They were very early here," Barr said of the injured emergency responders, "and they were assisting in some of the rescue of individuals in the back" of the structure.

Barr said dispatchers sent the first alarm at 12:43 a.m. Sunday, then a second alarm at 12:47 a.m., and a third alarm at 1:23 a.m. The first fire crew arrived at 12:48 a.m.

The fire was declared "under control" at 2:31 a.m. Crews remained at the scene, fighting hot spots, as of 5 a.m. The structure was still unsafe to enter, Barr said.


Lawrence Fire Marshal Rich Barr discusses the fire at 1205 N.J. Enlarge video

Stacy Hund lives across the street. Hund was awoken 12:45 a.m. when police arrived in the neighborhood. "The whole front of the house was up in flames," Hund said. "It brought everybody out of the house. It was not something you expect to see in the middle of the night . It's horrible."

Another neighborhood resident, Robert Coffman, said the fire spread quickly.


Afternoon press conference regarding the fire at 1205 N.J. Enlarge video

"What woke us up was a window-breaking sound, pops," Coffman said. "We got here and there were flames coming out of the basement; the front porch was completely on fire."

Coffman said the house was "completely engulfed" by the time firefighters arrived, with the flames aided by strong, storm-driven overnight winds.

"There was just no way," he said. "It was too fast."

Before dawn, Mayor Mike Amyx was on the scene comforting the fire victims' family. He declined to identify the victims. "Folks I know, " he said. "It's just a real tragedy, It really is."

At 6:50 a.m. fire investigators began walking up the 1200 block of New Jersey writing down car tags and other identifying information from cars parking in the neighborhood. By early afternoon, they were canvassing neighborhood residents.

1205 N.J.


redbird 11 years, 5 months ago

I just recieved this news right before going online.... I knew and could call the man,Mr.Charles Glover, and his family well,had all the respect in the world for him,many have not had this honor... He grew up in the south in the utmost worst environment,almost slave like work conditions for pennies a day.until moving north to Chicago and some other areas of Illinois before residing in the Lawrence area..This is where he was married and raised,buried family now he has went home also... He was a hard working man,always with a smile a mile wide,most people didn't understand him,he never left his deepsouth,I believe Mississippi,accent behind him...he loved God,life,his wife,kids and especially his grandkids...He had been married 3 times loosing his other wifes,he had seen heartache in what had happen to some of his children,stories of what he had endured growing up is what gave me all the respect in the world for him...He might of been a hell raiser at times but always a good man with a good soul... To this I must say a sad farewell to a Father,son,a very good man but most of all my friend.Many,many will miss you Mr.Glover but you are in the hands of God now.Rest in peace my friend....

Danielle Brunin 11 years, 5 months ago


I am sorry for the loss of your friend. This is so awful.

jranderson 11 years, 5 months ago

My husband and I used to live next door to Charlie, and he and his family were always very kind. Such a tragedy.

YourItalianPrincess 11 years, 5 months ago

I live near the corner of 11th and NJ. I fell asleep on the couch and awoke to the smell of smoke. Standing up to see smoke and lights outside. I went out and the whole street was blocked off with fire officials and police cars.

My son has a friend stay the night last night and I recieved a phone call from his mom just now. Both boys attended New York school with the children. She told me that everyone parished in this horrible fire but the grandmother who is in the hospital.

I didn't know the grandfather, but as he used to walk the kids to school he would always say good morning to me as I walked my daycare kids to school. He always had a smile on his face. I haven't said anything to my son yet and will find the words today to explain. This is going to be very hard for me to do as he and one of the grandchildren had be school mates since kindergarten.

May God wrap his arms around this family and hold them tight. May God also help this grandmother who is in the hospital right now.

God Bless all of them.

usaschools 11 years, 5 months ago

I have heard that one of the 2 infants survived. I can't officially verify this, but the source is a good one. Pray for the grandmother, for she is a wonderful person loved by many. Please give those in the New York school community some time to contact each other before posting any names here, because this is too shattering of a loss to just read about in the news.

TheEleventhStephanie 11 years, 5 months ago

I agree with the comment above to please give family and friends some time to contact each other before mentioning names here.

Can someone this the house on the corner, or the second one in?

ruby2 11 years, 5 months ago

there was a reason the ljw didn't release the name of the man killed. that's not up to you, redbird. have some respect.

simplyamazed 11 years, 5 months ago

Can someone tell me that knows the family if Mrs. Hooks still resided at that address and if so has Gayle been notified or is town yet?

usaschools 11 years, 5 months ago

I am sorry to report that my earlier post is incorrect. I was told that one of the youngest children had survived, but sadly this is not so.

badger 11 years, 5 months ago

What a sad and terrible thing.

My thoughts and condolences go out to all touched by this tragedy.

bearded_gnome 11 years, 5 months ago

Sad, sad news. God help this family recover from such a sudden loss.

I am glad to see that all the postings have been respectful. please remember that grieving people may read what is written here. hopes that they will find comfort abundant among those who remain on earth.

kansasnative 11 years, 5 months ago

I have known Charles Glover, Jr. for many years and consider him to be a good friend. I don't know the other members of his family but can only assume that they shared the bright smile that "Charlie" shows everytime we meet. I am so so very sorry this happened to your family Charlie - I hope you and the rest of your family and friends can find the strength needed to get through this. From our family to yours - our thoughts and prayers are with you. God Bless you and I wish you all the love and Goodwill during this time. Thank you Emergency Response for your dedication and attempts to save this family.

Katherine51 11 years, 5 months ago

While firefighters fought the blaze in the front of the house, two neighbors, Paul and Jack, broke into the rear of the house and assisted Lurleen and two others to safety. Paul was treated for smoke inhalation. They are true East Lawrence good Samaritans.

trollkiller 11 years, 5 months ago

Maybe Redbird and Italian Princess can get jobs at the inquirer naming names before they are official. I hope the family didn't read your posts before they were contacted.


jmoore69 11 years, 5 months ago

My fiance and I was walking down in that earlier yesterday afternoon and seen Mr glover working in the front yard doing some yard work being happy as he can be but now he is gone....we will miss his christmas light this year and the years to come.....thoughts and prayer go to his family

YourItalianPrincess 11 years, 5 months ago

As you can see in my post and thank you for pointing this out Biggunz. Trollkiller is you can read my post again, you can see that I didn't name anyone in this fire. I have more respect for the family then to do something like that.

Reread a persons post before you start bashing someone.

lynnd 11 years, 5 months ago

Actually trollkiller the naming was done in the LJW article before anyone even posted here.

duh 11 years, 5 months ago

can you guys at least keep the peace on this thread? this a tragedy and there is no need for petty internet feuding. just give the family love and support, mr. glover was well known through out the community and will deeply missed. truly heartbreaking.

trollkiller 11 years, 5 months ago


You quoted your son's friend's mom, who said "everyone perished".

I know if I were a family member who hadn't been contacted, your posting would have been just how I would have wnated to find out.

lynnd, There was no naming this morning; it was updated later.

I agree about the armchair quarterbacks; some of them hazve over 1,000 posts on ljworld

massager 11 years, 5 months ago

I've known this family and their relation for a long time and the Glover children have lived thru alot of tragedy in their lives . I can only ask god to comfort them and wrap his loving peace around them. I am an old neighbor from when the lived in the 800 block of new york. Their parents charlie sr. lived in the 700 block. I love you all and god bless you in your time of sorrow.

Sigmund 11 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Jeremy Lichtenauer 11 years, 5 months ago

Why are neighbors entering burning buildings and saving people instead of our local firefighters?

Woodduck_5363 11 years, 5 months ago

I will miss you Charlie and your smile. I have too known the family since Rhode Island street, and have been friends for that long. Missing is not the word. Sadness that you are no longer here is where I am at.

May God hold you in his arms.

Thanks for being a good friend

calieerin 11 years, 5 months ago

Dear Charlie....

I just got the news of the fire. Charlie, we will be he for you and your family no matter what. We love you and hope that you can find the strength to get to the next day. We will be by you forever and now....we love you so much.

Callie Tackett and The Fultons

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