KANSAS CITY, Mo. - One family that escaped a house fire in Kansas City Friday said God guided them to safety.
Flames gutted the three-story house near 40th Street and Chestnut Avenue early Friday morning. Ten people from four families lived at the house, six of which were children. Nine of these ten escaped on their own, and firefighters used a ladder to rescue the tenth person from a second story window. The battalion chief said the man wasn't injured.
Paramedics transported one adult and one child to the hospital due to smoke inhalation.
"I'm thankful to God because I made it out," said Maria Thompson. "I'm not healthy. To get out of that big house, it was just an act of God. And I thank God that [my husband] made it out because he's 93 years old."
Thompson said the St. Paul Church of Christ Holiness USA owns the home and uses it as a rescue mission of sorts to house struggling families. She said her husband is a minister at the church.
"It was very frightening. I trust God. That's how we made it out. That's how we made it out because, as you can see, the house is totaled. It's gone," Thompson said.
The American Red Cross, neighbors and family members are helping the people who lived in the home land on their feet after the fire.
A battalion chief from the Kansas City Fire Department said the structure of the house is salvageable, but all the personal items inside the home are likely destroyed.
He said the fire started on the backside of the home around 12:45 a.m. The fire appears to be accidental, not suspicious, said the chief. He said flames spread to all three floors of the house.
Strong winds drove the flames back into the house, forcing firefighters to use a defensive approach, fighting the flames from outside the structure.