Archive for Monday, April 25, 2011

One adult, three young children die in overnight house fire in small Franklin County community of Richmond

April 25, 2011, 12:30 p.m. Updated April 25, 2011, 6:01 p.m.


A man and three children were killed early Monday in a house fire in east-central Kansas, authorities said.

Franklin County Sheriff Jeffry Curry said the fire was reported about 1:40 a.m. Monday, and the interior of the home was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at the home, he said.

The victims were identified as Bryce S. Schendel, 25; Zoey S. Schendel, 5 months old; Jace D. Best, 6; and Ayden L. Best, 5.

A preliminary investigation by the Kansas State Fire Marshal's office and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation found that the fire appeared to be accidental and was likely caused by an electrical circuit and extension cord that was attached to a space heater inside the home.

Two members of the family survived the fire and were identified as Ashley L. Schendel, 24, and Alexis K. Best, 9, Curry said. He did not provide details on the family's relationship.

He said Ashley Schendel and Alexis Best were outside the home when firefighters arrived and were being treated at Kansas City area hospitals for smoke inhalation and were in stable condition.

Curry said Bryce Schendel and the three children who died were found in different areas of the house.

Richmond is a town of around 490 residents located about 60 miles west of Kansas City.


none2 2 years, 12 months ago

I have been on US-59 many times to get to SE Kansas. I have to admit I get the towns of Princeton & Richmond mixed up now and then. I did finally commit to memory that Princeton is the further north of the two towns. (I think Richmond is also the town that had a kind man selling statuary from his house right on US-59. I think he has since close up as there isn't much statuary there anymore.)

The thing to remember is a town like Richmond is very small. (It's practically the size of my hometown -- around 1,000.) My grandma's brother was killed in a blacksmith explosion back in the 20's in my small hometown, and older people in the small town remembered it for decades to come. I feel for both the family and this small community. The children and the man who died as well as the survivors would have been known to the entire community to some degree or another. Perhaps there is some small consolation in that fact. Those who died may be gone, but they won't be forgotten.


Richard Payton 2 years, 12 months ago

Two escaped and are being treated at area hospital. One child and the mother escaped according to Wichita Eagle paper.


puddleglum 2 years, 12 months ago

awful. hard to read of little children passing. Isn't this the third child tragedy within 10 days?

My thoughts concern the families. so sorry for your loss


LogicMan 2 years, 12 months ago

Yes, very sad.

Check your smoke detectors!


Paradox_Lost 2 years, 12 months ago

Very sad story. More families should have fire drills like they do at schools.


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