WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A family who escaped Monday’s house fire is making plans to move forward after their devastation.
KSN wanted to know how the fire started, damaging neighboring houses.
“From what I see here, they are extremely lucky that they got out,” said Aunt of mother who escaped house fire, Becky Ferguson.
Becky is very grateful her niece and four children escaped a massive fire yesterday.
“You hate to see something like this happen to a nice great family like they are,” said Ferguson.
Captain Kelly Zane, a Wichita Fire Department Investigator, says they were lucky to get out before the fire spread to other parts of the house. While they continue their investigation as to how it started, Captain Zane say they’re exploring different elements to help with their investigation.
“We are pursing all avenues of how the fire could have started. Whether it be accidental or intentional,” Zane said.
Investigators say the fire was so intense that it caused damage to nearby homes.
“A lot of extreme fuels or heavy fuel package that would allow for the heat or the BTU’s to be very significant and travel a long ways,” said Zane.
When the call first came out, even KSN’s Metrocam could see the heavy, dark smoke from miles away. Fire crews reported a heavy gas smell at the scene, which investigators say was likely due to a car that was also on fire.
“We do know that we had a car that was fully involved and a gas tank did rupture. So we have gas from the vehicle that was there,” Zane said.
Family members we talked to say they were in pure shock seeing this for the first time. They say most of the items are replaceable, but they’re just glad the mother and four children were able to get out safely, saying their lives are irreplaceable.
“We’re just all grateful and glad that they made it out,” said Ferguson.
Investigators say it could take a couple of days or several weeks before they can figure out the cause of the fire. Exterior damage is estimated around $35,000 and $25,000 in contents.