WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A fire early Thursday morning damaged a Wichita family’s home. KSN News spoke with the Williams family as they began cleaning up in the afternoon.
They have lived in the home for about three years.
“Opened the door and it just flew up in flames, flew up in flames,” said Renee Williams. “This is our freezer. It still has food in it.”
They’re images Renee Williams said she will never forget.
The same goes for what the fire at her home left behind. There’s smoke and water damage in the living areas, and it burned Christmas decorations, tools, lawn mowers and vehicles in the garage.
“It’s a red car, we were so surprised that the gas tanks didn’t explode, they were just, the fire was just right up against them,” said Williams.
It also destroyed family treasures, all on her husband’s birthday.
“Happy birthday, one big candle,” said Williams.
Williams said they, other family members, and their two dogs were able to get out safely. The Wichita Fire Department said a cigarette discarded in a trash can started the blaze, something Williams said, is a lesson learned.
“Make sure that you don’t empty an ash tray into a trash can until you know that it’s out,” said Williams.
Although it’s sad to think of what’s gone, Williams said they’re grateful to still be here to talk about it.
“Very thankful for that,” said Williams.
Williams said they’re thankful for support from family, friends and neighbors. She said they will get around in a rental car and live elsewhere until damages can be repaired.