Archive for Friday, February 20, 2009

Three cats die in fire that destroys Lawrence home

One woman taken to hospital with minor injuries

Firefighters battle the blaze Friday at 1946 Clifton Court near 19th and Ousdahl streets.

Firefighters battle the blaze Friday at 1946 Clifton Court near 19th and Ousdahl streets.

February 20, 2009, 12:33 p.m. Updated February 20, 2009, 3:54 p.m.


Occupant injured in blaze

Investigators are working to determine what caused a destructive afternoon house fire. Enlarge video

When Bryan Cremer heard screaming outside his window on Friday afternoon, he peered out to find smoke billowing from his neighbor’s home.

Cremer said he ran outside and watched as a man carried a woman out of the burning house. He said she appeared to be unconscious.

An occupant of the home was taken to Lawrence Memorial Hospital with minor injuries, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Chief Mark Bradford said at the scene. The two-alarm fire started about 12:15 p.m. at 1946 Clifton Court, near 19th Street and Ousdahl Road, just south of Kansas University.

David Miller, who lives down the street, said he also witnessed a woman being carried out of the burning home.

“It was just crazy,” he said. “It was definitely a scary situation.”

A firefighter was evaluated for minor injuries on the scene, fire officials said. Three cats died in the fire.

The single-family home, valued at $128,530 by the county appraiser, was consumed quickly by flames, and Bradford said the house appeared to be a total loss.

The American Red Cross was providing lodging, food and clothing for two adults and two children who lived at the home. Executive Director Jane Blocher said a woman and her boyfriend were living at the home and each of them had a child.

Several neighbors watched as smoke billowed from the roof of the home and filled the neighborhood. Flames were seen near the front door, and fire ripped completely through a back corner of the home.

Firefighters battled the heavy fire in a defensive mode, in efforts to stop the fire from spreading to nearby homes. They fought the fire from the ground and air, with the use of a ladder truck.

Investigators were being called to the scene, Bradford said.

“It’ll take some time to come up with an origin and cause,” he said.


chewyfally 9 years, 4 months ago

isn't there a fire station RIGHT THERE?

Shane Garrett 9 years, 4 months ago

Truckstop Honeymooners at the Bottle Neck Tonight. That will be a much better show. Hope everyone is OK.

kasper 9 years, 4 months ago

i saw the fire it was pretty bad hope all is ok

Kookamooka 9 years, 4 months ago

My crystal ball is telling me that we are going to see more house fires in the future. I hope everyone is physically OK and that many good hearted souls help them replace their worldly possessions and give them food and shelter.

d_prowess 9 years, 4 months ago

So as this story develops, everyone reports a woman being carried out, but no mention of whether it was a good samaritan, another person that was in the house, or a fire fighter. I hope that the lack of information is due to the LJW still investigating this aspect of the story.

woodenfleaeater 9 years, 4 months ago

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

Christine Anderson 9 years, 4 months ago

First, I am very glad no human was hurt. But I need to ask, did they make any attempt to rescue the cats? I'm sure those kitties were very important to the humans who lived there.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 years, 4 months ago

Poor kitties! I have three of my own and could not bear to lose them. But I do need to say that the Lawrence Humane Society has many, many abandoned pets that need homes, one of mine came from the shelter. I hope that the lost cats can be replaced by others that need a home. Keep this in your hearts.

Christine Anderson 9 years, 4 months ago

Does anyone out there know if the Fire Dept. has a policy for when to go in seeking pets, and when not to?

Jeremy Lichtenauer 9 years, 4 months ago

I hardly think pouring water on a burning building from a safe distance and saving yet another foundation is "battling".

Christine Anderson 9 years, 4 months ago

Oh my goodness, pywacket! I did not denegrate our firefighters for not going in after the cats. I only asked if there were guidelines they went by as to when to go in, and when not to. I was only asking a question. Dang, how was it immoral and disgusting just to ask that? I mean no disrespect to our firefighters whatsoever.

Andrew Boyd 9 years, 4 months ago

O crap its so important to us to be breaking news dose this mean if a major event happens it will just be regular news?

Confrontation 9 years, 4 months ago

I have to agree with Py. The lives of the firefighters are much more important than rescuing some cats. Try telling a child that her daddy died trying to rescue Muffin. You never know when a roof will collapse or something else. No need to risk their lives.

tunahelper 9 years, 4 months ago

lawrence is the only town in Kansas where a story about cats would be front page news. what a bunch of losers!

bearded_gnome 9 years, 4 months ago

hey! article says firefighter was treated for minor injuries. c'mon people! human life has to be cared for more than saving a structure or saving cats.

now, if there'd been a dog, I'd go in myself to save him or her if possible.

George_Braziller 9 years, 4 months ago

Gnome -- Was that supposed to be funny? Didn't work.

gsxr600 9 years, 4 months ago

I hope everyone is ok. It disappoints me how disrespectful some of you can be in your comments. I can relate to this story because I lost everything in an apartment fire 4 years ago. No clothes, no bed, no family photos. None of you know the feeling to lose nearly everything you have. I hope the family can find a way to restore their life.

redneck 9 years, 4 months ago

So, are the cats more important than the woman who was taken to the hospital? Please don't tell me there was a gold fish involved in the fire! I was yanking you're chain, if you couldn't tell. :-)

Strontius 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm willing to wager the woman carried out from the fire loved those cats dearly. It's not a matter of what was more important, but a matter of what was possible. That's not to say the firefighters didn't do their jobs properly, but I know if my dog was allowed to suffer and die while no attempt was made to save him, it might as well have been my own child, and I would have been highly critical of emergency services for not making any attempt whatsoever to save a life. My dog is worth more to me than any replaceable material possession.

It's sad that some people can't see the loss of life as more paramount to the loss of material possessions.

bearded_gnome 9 years, 4 months ago

oh I'm so sad I didn't make you smile dour George Braziller, was that my intent? no.

I was admitting to a bias against cats and in favor of dogs. I also know as Strontius points out, losing my dog would be far harder than say losing my posessions.

most of all I wanted to say, pay attention to human life. and a firefighter was injured today!

*A firefighter was injured today! thank God she or he will apparently recover, and I hope quickly. firefighters rush to the emergency. if they'd needed to, they'd have gotten the woman out themselves!

thank God we have firefighters!

persevering_gal 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is to lose your house due to a fire and to lose a pet. I'm glad you and everyone else are safe.

Sharon Aikins 9 years, 4 months ago

Because they can do it anonymously and get by with it, itsjustlndsay. Then again, I'm guessing that some of then are always this insensitve. And sometimes people use humor to lessen tragedy, just not always appropriately.

My thanks to the firefighters who risk their lives to save ours. I'm sorry these people lost their cats but I'm sure the firemen/women battled this fire as they deemed appropriate at the time. Since I don't do their job, I can't judge how they do it.

This is a local interest story. For those not impressed with it's coverage, go watch CNN, they will seek out all the gory details you want and then show them to you, over and over and over.....

kansasfire911 9 years, 4 months ago

As a proffesional firefighter from the Kansas City area, I can say we do have an "unwritten" policy about offensive fires and deffensive fires. Its called risk vs. benefit. Risk a lot to save a lot, risk little to save little. I am more concerned about human life, my own included, than the family pet. If I see the pet is still running around I will try to save them, given the circumstances. Yes the fire station was close by, however (some of you know it all bloggers allready know this) fire doubles in size every minute. Who knows when the first call to 911 was made. Also kuddos to the semaritan that ran in to save the lady, stupid, but good job. Cheesehead and Notwhatyouthink go do a ride along with a fire department and learn something before you go talking about something in wich you have no idea about!

KNR0890 9 years, 4 months ago

Hey guys just wanted to share a few things!!! Some of you can be so rude. The girl that was rushed out of the house and lived there was a very close family friend. I can tell you that she tried so hard to save her cats. Those cats were her litle girls and she wanted to try to save them for her. Her boyfriend had to carry her out when the house burst into flames and her body caught on fire. Yes I do think this is a top story b/c one of your fellow citizens lost everything they had. Not only does she not have anything left, but neither does her little girl. I thank god that they are okay and I know that I would be willing to give the clothes off my back for this kind family. I think you guys who are posting rude comments need to get a life and think how you would feel if you lost everything in a fire. If you have something to say I hope you post back!!!

Christine Anderson 9 years, 4 months ago

Dear Kansasfire911: Please, didn't anyone see where I said I did not mean any disrespect to our FD? I was just asking if there was a policy, because I didn't know. Yes, of course, protecting human life comes first. I posed the questions I did because I didn't know, period. So I guess that makes me ignorant, but I do not have any bad feelings or attitude towards the LFD. The poster right above this one talks about how much the lady who lived there loved her cats, and how she tried to save them for her little girl's sake. Knowing this is how dedicated pet owners would react was the reason I asked the questions I did. I would do a ride-along if it were allowed. Once again, I am NOT criticizing them for not being able to save the cats. When I had just delivered my 9 yr. old at LMH, my daugter called me to say that our apt. bldg (Hampton Court) had caught on fire, and that no one knew where our two cats where. After three days, we were allowed back in, and by some miracle, my cats were found alive, hiding in the closet. A bit dehydrated and hungry, but alive. The LFD had broken down doors in the apts where no one answered, because they wanted to be sure no one was left inside. The pets who didn't manage to hide from them, they took to the neighboring bldg., or to the Humane Society temporarily. Okay, so I'm a stupid person. I asked what I did out of a desire to know, not out of hate or disdain for our firefighters!!

Taxpayer 9 years, 4 months ago

Hey Notwhatyouthink, the below quote cut/pasted from your quote is dead wrong. Call Chief Bradford at Station 5 on Monday morning and ask about the LDCFM's Offensive Fire Attack policy.
"but the LFD's policy is if it is on fire they do not go in. If you were good friends with any of the firefighters you would know that." That's baloney and you know it. You sound like a "Fire Department Wannabee" that didn't make the cut for the job.

LA_Ex 9 years, 4 months ago

notwhatyouthink said - When was the last time a LFD went into any burning building risk or not? The Boardwalk fire was a good example of that. Several people were rescued, but not the fire dept. There have been several others, but the LFD's policy is if it is on fire they do not go in. If you were good friends with any of the firefighters you would know that.

I just watched the video and one of the firefighter's helmet and uniform is completely black. I'm guessing he was inside the burning building. Just an uneducated guess on my part, but that's what it looks like to me.

kansasfire911 9 years, 4 months ago

Misplacedcheasehead- My apologies. I misread what you wrote. Most fire departments will allow you to do a ride along. Notwhatyouthink-Post the SOG on fire attack for LDCFM.

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