Firefighters battling massive house fire in Kansas City, KS - KCTV5 News


Century-old home in KCK destroyed in fire, family left homeless

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The scene was anyone's holiday nightmare, but more than worldly items and a Thanksgiving meal, as a part of KCK history went down in flames Thursday.

The fire broke out about 9:45 a.m. in the 3400 block of Delavan Avenue in Kansas City, KS.

When firefighters arrived on the scene, heavy smoke was showing from the two-story brick home.

The home belonging to the Walker family was part of the historic registry, a home that dates back to the Civil War era.

Firefighters worked to put out shooting flames just behind Luther Walker while he struggled to tell the story of his home of 52 years.

"It just now hit me now because I grew up there," he said.

It was a life in a home with so much history, where an abolitionist and Wyandotte Indian Tribe descendants once lived.

"On the deed of the house, it was Elijah Sorter, Nancy Brown and Quindaro. All of that was on the deed when my father passed. I looked at the deed, and I thought 'Oh my God, this house has so much history,'" Luther Walker's sister, Helena Walker, said.

Luther Walker explained he installed temporary wiring for outdoor lights after a vandal hit his home a few months ago.

Deputy Chief Craig Duke, a spokesman for the Kansas City, KS, Fire Department, said the fire started in a shed attached to the home.

"We plugged microwaves and all that because it is Thanksgiving. So we plugged all of our electrical stuff in there, and that wire was hooked up to the same thing," Luther Walker said.

Luther Walker, his wife and two children all escaped without injury with only the clothes on their back. He says for that, he can be thankful.

"I'm blessed because of my wife, my daughter and my son," he said.

But he will need help, he said, to restart his family's home.

"It's just hard because I never asked for help. All my life, I always worked for myself and took care of my business and never been on assistance," he said.

Red Cross was on scene earlier helping the family with the bare necessities. The hardest part to swallow, he said, was that the home was too old to insure.

A fund has been established for the family at a KCK bank.

Those willing and able to help are asked to mail donations to:

Liberty Bank
c/o Walker Family Fire Fund
1314 N. 5th St.
Kansas City, KS, 66101

Kansas Sen. David Haley belives the family might be able to rebuild the home.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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