home in Parkville at 1100 West Street caught fire and was destroyed early Wednesday afternoon.
Black smoke rose above rooftops and was seen from miles away. The home was located on the bluffs in the midst of heavy woods with a gravel driveway leading up its hill.
Richard Carrizzo, the southern Platte Fire Protection District’s chief, said the Platte County dispatcher received a call from a Parkville resident saying they saw smoke rising in the Crooked Road area.
“It took us quite awhile to locate the blaze,” Carrizzo said. “We initially didn’t receive an address when a neighbor called it in. We could have arrived much sooner and responded to the fire if we had a definite address.”
One fireman said he felt frustrated because their truck kept receiving conflicting reports about where they needed to go. The fire was not “near Crooked Road,” like the resident explained. It was in the relatively same area on West Street.
Parkville resident Tom Hutsler stood in a crowd of people as they watched the action from the street below.
“I was up in English Landing at the time, and I heard the sirens coming and smelled smoke, so I headed down here,” said Hutsler. “Right now we’re not sure if anyone is inside, but they’re trying to locate the two women who live there. Someone reported the owners have been on vacation for a few days.”
A Parkville resident who lives in a duplex next to the burning structure stood on the curb to make sure the women were not inside at the time. “My window was open that faces the house, but I didn’t smell any smoke,” said Justin Burris. “I ran outside to see what was happening when I heard and saw the sirens stop on my street. In a small town like this, everyone comes out to see what happened. I don’t know the women who live there, but I always hear their two small dogs barking. I just pray their little dogs aren’t inside the house. I have no idea how this could have happened.”
Kansas City Power and Light Company came to cut the power lines in order to prevent any further damage. A niece of one of the owners was contacted and arrived on the scene. She confirmed her aunt was out of town at the time and not inside the structure. It was confirmed the two dogs were not inside the home, but being cared for elsewhere since the owners were out of town.
East and Elm Street’s were blocked on both ends and tied up local traffic. Three fire trucks and 16 firefighters responded to the blaze which took over an hour to control. The structure’s east wall remained standing above the garage while the roof had collapsed. There has been no report of how the fire began or how much damage occurred. The names of the homeowners were not released.
Parkville’s Police Chief, Bill Hudson, said the condition of the structure was “gutted and a total loss.”