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Olathe neighborhood shaken after fire

Posted: 9:25 PM, Apr 10, 2017
Updated: 2017-04-11 11:04:08-04

Some neighbors in Olathe feared the worst when a garage caught fire Monday afternoon. 

"Even when the firemen threw water on it, it just kept reigniting," said Pamela Dopp, who lives next to the home that caught fire Monday. 

Dopp and neighbor Mark Verhulst smelled something burning and were surprised to see it was their next door neighbor's garage. 

Dopp immediately thought of the large fire that burned more than a dozen homes in Overland Park last month.

"I was literally stomping out embers on my flower garden," she said. 

Verhulst saw how quickly the flames were moving and alerted his neighbors.

"They didn't know the house was on fire," he said. "They knew the garage was, they smelled it, but they didn't know how close it was, so I said, 'You got to go, now.'”

Leslie Elliott lived inside the torched home with his 82-year-old mother. The Elliotts built their Olathe home in the 1960s.

"We've never been through anything like that," Elliott said. "We got out right away. When I opened that basement door it was hot. It was burning fast. And I just kept hearing a bunch of popping.”

Elliott said the garage burned to the ground in about 10 minutes. 

The home was severely damaged, too. The family lost three cars and countless possessions. 

Elliott's mother was treated for shortness of breath shortly after getting out of the home, but everyone is OK. 

"You don't know if this was three weeks ago, the ground was brown, there was no rain, we could have lost the whole neighborhood," Verhulst said.

The Olathe Fire Department is still trying to determine the cause of the fire. It remains under investigation. 

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Lexi Sutter can be reached at lexi.sutter@kshb.com.

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