WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – One person died and another was seriously injured in a house fire in east Wichita Wednesday night. It happened in the 2800 block of E. Lincoln shortly after 7:20 p.m.
The first firefighters on the scene found smoke showing from the single-family home. A woman who lived in the home was outside and told crews that there was a man in the basement.
Brad Crisp, Fire Marshal, Wichita Fire Department told KSN Thursday morning that crews encountered excessive storage in the basement which hindered rescue attempts but did locate a 45-year-old man in a basement bedroom.
The victim has a history of “using fire”, according to Crisp. He reportedly had some mental health issues which are being taken into consideration in the investigation. Crisp said the department does have a history with the victim and last dealt with him a couple of months ago when he was “playing” with fire.
The victim’s mother said she smelled smoke and found heavy smoke coming up from the basement and was unable to check on her son so she evacuated the home. She was taken to Via Christi St. Francis hospital in critical condition. Crisp tells KSN she is now in stable condition.
Damage to the home is estimated at $50,000 with $20,000 damage to the contents. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The home was older and did not have egress windows in the basement and no working smoke detectors.
This is the fourth fire fatality of the year in Wichita.