Red Cross assisting mom, four kids after morning house fire

Katrice Woods returned to her east Lawrence home Tuesday morning to see smoke coming from the back of the house, 1300 Del.

Alarmed, she tried to peer inside.

“I could see all the flames in the kitchen,” Woods said.

Lawrence Douglas County Fire and Medical crews arrived quickly and were able to extinguish the fire.

“We’re hopeful the family’s belongings are still salvageable,” Fire Marshal Rich Barr said.

Woods said she was thankful no one got hurt in the 7:50 a.m. fire. She had just returned from dropping off three of her children at Pinckney School and one at South Junior High School. She said her poodle was with her in the car.

Emergency crews fight a fire in the 1300 block of Delaware on Tuesday, Aug. 31. The intersection at 13th and Delaware streets was shut down while crews secured the scene.

Emergency crews fight a fire in the 1300 block of Delaware on Tuesday, Aug. 31. The intersection at 13th and Delaware streets was shut down while crews secured the scene. by Richard Gwin

Barr said Tuesday morning that investigators were still determining an official cause and damage estimate, but Woods said she believed the fire started because she left a pot on the stove.

Woods said she has rented the house for about four years. According to county records, it’s owned by Polk Oil Co. Inc.

Barr said most of the damage appeared to be in the living area. It took firefighters about 20 minutes to get the fire under control.

The Douglas County chapter of the American Red Cross is providing hotel, food and clothing vouchers for the family. Woods said she was thankful for the lodging that will cover three days. She’s still worried about long-term housing because she’s unsure when her family will be able to return to the home.

“I still have to find somewhere to stay in three days,” Woods said.

Tagged: fire, red cross

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