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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.

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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.

Comments

coleman1951 5 years, 1 month ago

So have the investigators found out what caused the fire?

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Pywacket 5 years, 2 months ago

I believe Taxpayer nailed it-- notwhatyouthink is very likely a FD reject and is chewing on sour grapes. Between wannabe firefighters and wannabe cops, it's hard to say which group is more disturbed and wacked out.

Yeah, notwhat--I'm sure I'd be very surprised at what you do for a living..

Let's see... WalMart greeter? Pedicurist? Downtown amateur musician? Whatever it is, I doubt very much you ever have to put your life on the line or that you have any justification for suggesting firefighters should do so more than they already do.

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robbie23 5 years, 2 months ago

People are erasing my stuff All I was doing is posting the truth about the individual who lived at this residence. This neglectful, drug dealing mother does not deserve any help. It is because of her self serving will, manipulation, and hatred of others that God has punished her. She doen't even deserve to have the child she has. She lockes that child in the back of the house and ignored her all nite while she was using illicit drugs and getting drunk with her friends.

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robbie23 5 years, 2 months ago

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

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kansasfire911 5 years, 2 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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LA_Ex 5 years, 2 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.

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Taxpayer 5 years, 2 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.

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Stacy Napier 5 years, 2 months ago

To clarify one thing, I was not talking about saving the cats. I really don't care if the firedept saved a pet or not. I just think that they could do a better job of what they are supposed to do. And yes firefighters are there to save property, not just life.

piewack, you don't know anything about me or what I do for a living, you might be supprised , so i would keep your assumptions about me to yourself.

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.

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Christine Anderson 5 years, 2 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!!

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KNR0890 5 years, 2 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!!!

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red_devil 5 years, 2 months ago

They won't do that. They're cowards and it's safer for them to talk sh*t anonymously than to put themselves on the line. Either that or they are just bitter at the LFD for some reason or other. In either case, who cares.

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kansasfire911 5 years, 2 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!

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Pywacket 5 years, 2 months ago

notwhatyouthink~ You have no idea what you're talking about. Take some courses in fire science then come back here and spout off. It takes seconds--fractions of seconds--for a fire to develop and evolve and to go from risky to deadly.

The neighbor with no protective gear was risking his life to save the woman and both of them were very lucky that the risk paid off. Five minutes later--or even one minute later--and this story could have been about a double fatality.

You are morally bankrupt to suggest that firefighters or anyone else should have gone back in to rescue the pets. Their loss is tragic, but apparently unavoidable. How arrogant and ignorant of you to assume and declare from your armchair, with no specific details about the nature and course of this fire, no idea of what the FD knew or didn't know about what might have been in the house (such as potential explosive materials), that it was fought improperly and that another FD would have handled it differently, saved the pets, and even saved the structure. Please go back to KC, MO.

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Stacy Napier 5 years, 2 months ago

The fire dept does have a policy in place. It is never go into a burning building. Just set up a monitor and have a weenie roast.

Come on people, The fire dept is one block away and some neighbor with no protective gear went in to save the woman and was fine, but the fire dept couldn't go inside to fight the fire.
That is why this house is total loss. It was a small one story house They should have had the fire out in short time. I am sorry I am used to KCMO where they go in and fight fires. Firefighters in this town don't risk their lives every day. We usually only have about 1 fire a month the rest of the time they are running medicals. I guess they just don't get enough practice.

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redmoonrising 5 years, 2 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.....

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itsjustlindsay 5 years, 2 months ago

How come noone can play nice these days?

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Pink_Sock 5 years, 2 months ago

When I say 3 cats, I'm usually referring to 3 people.

"Did you see those 3 cats playing with matches over there?"

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persevering_gal 5 years, 2 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.

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bearded_gnome 5 years, 2 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!

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Strontius 5 years, 2 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.

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redneck 5 years, 2 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. :-)

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gsxr600 5 years, 2 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.

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George_Braziller 5 years, 2 months ago

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

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bearded_gnome 5 years, 2 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.

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Pywacket 5 years, 2 months ago

Well, cheesehead, I certainly hope you have your priorities straight--but you made not one, but two, posts that questioned the firefighters' policies.

Sounded like an undertone of criticism to me--and I wonder why anyone would "need to ask" when a human life would be risked to save an animal's.

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red_devil 5 years, 2 months ago

And all along I thought it was a story about a house fire.

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tunahelper 5 years, 2 months ago

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

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red_devil 5 years, 2 months ago

LMAO. Jeremy is another one of those forum professionals.....professional IDIOT that is! HA!!!!!

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biggunz 5 years, 2 months ago

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Confrontation 5 years, 2 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.

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red_devil 5 years, 2 months ago

If it was a defensive fire then it was deemed unsafe for anyone to enter the house for any reason.

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lynchburgsbest 5 years, 2 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?

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Christine Anderson 5 years, 2 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.

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Pywacket 5 years, 2 months ago

cheesehead~ I hope one of your children goes into the firefighting profession. We'll see what you think about the wisdom of going in after cats then. For the love of christ! Firefighters, bless them, do sometimes put their own lives in danger to save pets, but they should never be expected to or criticized by ignorant, uninformed fools when they do not go into a house that is fully engaged in a conflagration. What is wrong with you?

As much as I love my own pets and would be heartbroken to lose them in a fire, I would not want a firefighter to risk his human life for one of them. To suggest that they do so is immoral and disgusting.

Jeremy--please go apply for a job with the fire department right away. Since you know so much about the science of fire fighting, you are bound to rise straight to the rank of Chief--if you don't get yourself killed first, trying to be a big hero and rushing into an unsafe and unstable situation.

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Jeremy 5 years, 2 months ago

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

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Multidisciplinary 5 years, 2 months ago

Christmas tree?

And somehow, i don't think replacing the kittehs will be the first thing of business tomorrow morning.

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Christine Anderson 5 years, 2 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?

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hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 2 months ago

Those cats were better companions than the nutcase who had a monkey>

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Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 years, 2 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.

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Edward Coan 5 years, 2 months ago

My thoughts and prayers go out to those 3 cats...I'm sure they were great companions for her.

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Christine Anderson 5 years, 2 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.

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woodenfleaeater 5 years, 2 months ago

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d_prowess 5 years, 2 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.

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Kookamooka 5 years, 2 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.

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kasper 5 years, 2 months ago

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

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Shane Garrett 5 years, 2 months ago

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

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chewyfally 5 years, 2 months ago

isn't there a fire station RIGHT THERE?

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