Victim of large Leawood house fire passes away - KCTV5


Victim of large Leawood house fire passes away

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(Stephen Mayer/KCTV) (Stephen Mayer/KCTV)

Countless cars driving on West 95th Street at Meadow Lane slowed in curiosity, many asking what caused the massive house fire.

Fire investigators haven't released the cause yet, but neighbors are speaking about the woman who lived there.

The woman, identified as 53-year-old Diane Jakobe, died from injuries she sustained in the fire.

Officials said a man driving by saw the smoke and called police just after 6 p.m. Tuesday. In a matter of a few short minutes, the home was up in flames. The homeowner was found unconscious inside the burning home about 6:30 p.m. Firefighters pulled her from the home.

"I walked around here and they had just brought her out to the driveway on a gurney, and there was a 250-pound guy doing this (demonstrates chest compressions) on her chest," said neighbor Bill Meiners.

Jakobe fought for her life for several days at a nearby hospital.

Neighbors said Jakobe grew up in the house, moving back in after her parents passed away.

"It's pretty shocking, like I said, I just hope and pray she can get out of the hospital and continue on with her life," said neighbor Skip Miller a day after the fire.

Miller's kids played with the victim's brother decades ago in a neighborhood that has a lot of history.

"Her parents built the house and then her father passed away. When her mother got ill, she (temporarily) moved in, and when her mother passed away she (permanently) moved in," said neighbor Marianne Leary.

Flames were so intense they barely missed neighbors' homes like Leary's mother, who lives next door.

"It was frightening, a lot of smoke and then it took quite a while to put the fire out," Leary said.

"We've never seen anything like this. This is an older neighborhood with homes built in the '50s, so this is a first for us," neighbor Ron Vincent said.

The fire even challenged firefighters, leaving two with minor injuries in the hospital. The two firefighters suffered cuts to their arms and hands, and required stitches, but are OK.

It took about two hours for fire crews to bring the two-alarm fire under control.

Since then they have worked around the clock at the house, putting out hot spots and continuing their investigation into what sparked the fire.

KCTV5's DeAnn Smith contributed to this report.

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