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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • House fire claims 39-year-old Leavenworth woman

  • A Leavenworth woman died Thursday night as a result of a house fire, a Leavenworth Fire Department spokesman said.
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  • A Leavenworth woman died Thursday night as a result of a house fire, a Leavenworth Fire Department spokesman said.
    The fire was reported at 11:29 p.m. at 1926 Seneca St. It began in the kitchen of the one-story, ranch-style home, Leavenworth Assistant Fire Chief Mark Nietzke said.
    The 39-year-old woman apparently was sleeping in a bedroom. Her husband was able to get out of the house through a window in another bedroom.
    "He could not come out through the front because of the fire," Nietzke said.
    When firefighters arrived, there was heavy smoke coming from the house. There also were flames coming from a kitchen window.
    The man who lives there told firefighters his wife was still in the house, Nietzke said.
    "We went right in when they were still setting the truck up," Nietzke said.
    He said firefighters found the woman fairly quickly and carried her outside.
    She was transported by Leavenworth County EMS to Saint Luke's Cushing Hospital. Firefighters learned later that she had been pronounced dead at the hospital.
    Nietzke said he does not know the official cause of death, but the woman may have died as a result of smoke inhalation.
    Nietzke said firefighters reported "really heavy smoke conditions" in the house.
    Firefighters also were told there may have been a child in the house as well. They began searching but eventually were told the child had been picked up by someone before the fire.
    "They searched the house a couple different times," Nietzke said.
    He said firefighters extinguished the blaze in less than 30 minutes.
    "They contained the fire mostly to the kitchen area," he said.
    The fire was caused by unattended cooking.
    "There was a pan of some kind left on the stove," Nietzke said.
    He said the blaze caused heavy fire damage to the kitchen and heat and smoke damage throughout the house.
    Firefighters estimated the fire caused about $75,000 in damage.
    Nietzke said there apparently was no working smoke detector in the house.
    He said the husband didn't have a cell phone with him when he made it out of the house, so he began contacting neighbors to report the fire.
    Nietzke said four off-duty members of the Leavenworth Fire Department were called in to provide assistance during the fire. Members of the Fort Leavenworth Fire Department also were called to the scene.
    Members of Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1 stood by to handle other calls for the Leavenworth Fire Department.
    Nietzke said the last time there was a fire-related death in Leavenworth was in 2009. There were two fire-related deaths in the city that year.
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