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'Everything is gone': KCK mother, kids thankful to be alive after 2-alarm apartment fire

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Posted at 10:18 PM, Nov 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-27 23:52:58-05

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Daira Smith and her two kids are thankful to be alive after an apartment fire destroyed their home Saturday night in Kansas City, Kansas. 

“We went to go see Christmas lights, came home to get ready for bed and the next thing you know, we are running for our lives,” Smith said.  


At the time of the fire, Smith says she was asleep. She credits her 10-year-old son with saving her life since he was home to wake her up.

“My son woke me up and my house was in flames,” Smith said. "When I came out of my room, the front door was covered in flames and smoke, so I knew I couldn't open the door. So we dashed to the balcony. Wrapped him up, covered him up, covered his mouth and just waited until we got help.”

Smith and her son were included in the five people rescued from balconies at the complex. Three people were taken to the hospital, and one person suffered severe burns. Around 15-20 total residents were displaced.


“Everything is gone,” Smith said. “From the way that looks, we should not be standing here today. I'm just grateful to have my kids for this holiday season.”  

Playing the situation back over and over in her mind, Smith says she is thankful she was able to tell her daughter, who was home from college, she and her son are safe.


“Mentally, emotionally, I'm just taking it as I can. There's nothing really else I can do, but I'm just counting my blessings,” said Smith's daughter Teneill Childers.

Investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.