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Local nurse saves children with disabilities from house fire

Peery Ave House Fire
Posted at 5:42 PM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 19:29:57-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Piles of debris sat outside Willie Hough's home on Peery Avenue in Kansas City, Missouri, Thursday after a fire started late Wednesday.

“It’s kind of scary when you drive up and the whole front of your house is gone and you’ve got debris laying on both sides of the porch and the house," Hough said.

Around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, firefighters were called to the home near Benton Boulevard and Peery Avenue on reports of a fire outside the home.

“All of the sudden I heard this noise on the front porch - it sounded like someone had thrown something on the porch," Hough said. "I said, 'What was that?' All of the sudden, there was a big popping noise and then I saw flames."

It was a quick call to action for the family's nurse who was just ending her shift.

Hough told 41 Action News that if it wasn't for Cassandra Parnell, the result could have been devastating - Hough and her seven children were inside, each with a disability.

“If it hadn’t been for her, my kids could have had smoke inhalation or whatever, or they could have died if the fire had gotten any worse. I really appreciate what she did for us," Hough said.

Hough referred to Parnell as her hero, but the swift actions she took Wednesday night are ones Parnell says anyone would have done.

“I can’t see anyone not doing it, I don’t consider it being a hero, I can’t see anyone not doing it and I don’t think I did anything other than make sure some kids were safe. Who would not do that," Parnell said.

Hough says her home is still livable and that everyone made it out safely.

A spokesperson for the Kansas City Fire Department says the cause of the fire is undetermined and the bomb and arson unit is investigating it further.