By Bob Raukar
Prairie Township Fire Protection District
A visiting brother-in-law who serves as a volunteer firefighter in Kansas helped save an Eastern Jackson County home from serious damage during a Christmas Day fire.
According to the Prairie Township Fire Protection District, the home’s owners and a brother-in-law and sister visiting for the holidays were playing cards in the living room Wednesday evening when flames broke through the wall around the fireplace chimney. While awaiting fire department arrival, the owner and his firefighter brother-in-law took matters in their own hands and attacked the fire with a garden hose.
When firefighters from the Prairie Township and Lake Lotawana fire districts arrived, the two had managed to extinguish the bulk of the fire by removing sections of drywall from the garage side of the wall and dousing the flames with the garden hose.
Firefighters spent about two hours opening up more of the wall and ceiling to extinguish smoldering insulation and wall studs and ceiling joists. The occupants were able to remain in the house in the 14000 block of State Route 7 east of Lee’s Summit.
"We don’t normally encourage people to fight their own structure fires but we can’t deny that in this case it was a success," said Prairie Township Fire Chief Larry Robinson. "Having a trained firefighter there when the fire broke out made all the difference. Still, fires, even when small and just breaking out, are a dangerous situation and we stress that people should evacuate a fire building and once out, stay out."