KCK firefighters attempting to rescue man trapped in house fire - KCTV5 News

KCK man dies after found trapped in burning home

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Firefighters rushed into a burning home Wednesday morning hoping to rescue a man, but their desperate efforts were too late. 

Neighbors also tried to rescue the 73-year-old man, later identified as John White.

"We tried to get to him, but it's too late," Bobbie Josenberger said. "He's living better than we are now."

About 10:30 a.m., Josenberger and another neighbor saw smoke pouring from the house in the 2700 block of Waverly Court. With one person calling 911, others tried to rush into the home to save White.

"But as soon as they opened the door, they were knocked back by smoke and heat," KCK Deputy Fire Chief Craig Duke said.

Firefighters needed less than two minutes to get to the scene. When crews arrived, flames could be seen shooting from the front door.

Firefighters worked to get the fire under control while rushing inside to search for the occupant. Firefighters searched room to room before finding White.

"There was no hope. He was gone," Josenberger said. "It's just sad. He couldn't walk. He could have made it out if he could walk, but he's disabled. I feel for the family."

Neighbors thought highly of White who didn't have any surviving family members but was beloved by his community who mourn his death.

Duke said White, who was a smoker, was found dead in a back bedroom, which is where the fire started. The cause is under investigation, but foul play is not suspected at this time.

An autopsy is being performed, Duke said.

"We are looking at this as a fire death," Duke said.

Neighbors say White's caretaker lived in the home with her children, ages 8 and 3. She had left to take the children to school when the fire started. By the time she returned, the house was on fire.

The fire caused about $35,000 in damage. The area chapter of the American Red Cross is helping the caretaker and her children because they are now homeless.

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