Man dies after duplex fire on 41st, Holly in Kansas City

Posted at 5:51 PM, Dec 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-18 12:45:56-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. --   A man is dead after a fire at a duplex on 41st and Holly Sunday morning.

Officials were unable to release the man's name but did say there were no working smoke detectors in the home. 

Matt Messer, who lives on the other side of the duplex, said he was at work when the fire started. 

"I was heading home and turned the corner and fire trucks lined up and smoke coming out," said Messer.

Fire crews say the fire started just after 8:30 a.m. and they reached the scene minutes later.

Catalina Reyes lives next door and said she could hear firefighters pounding on the neighbor's door and see thick smoke.

"It was pretty big," she said. "You could see all the smoke and the flames upstairs."

KCFD Deputy Chief James Garrett said the man living upstairs was already dead when crews got inside the unit.

"The smoke is going to displace the oxygen, asphyxiate you, so you will pass out," said Garrett, when speaking about the importance of having working smoke detectors. 

Leaving Messer grateful, he was not at home.

"Just fortunate, lucky I guess. I'm feeling fortunate," said Messer.

Inspectors are trying to figure out how and where the fire started.

The KCFD said they just got about 3,000 new smoke detectors. Kansas City residents can swing by a station and get one for free. You also can fill out paperwork to have them install it.