Five house fires in KC area blamed on fireplaces - KCTV5

Five house fires in KC area blamed on fireplaces

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV/AP) -

Officials say at least five house fires in the Kansas City metro area over the weekend were caused by problems with fireplaces.

A fire at a Shawnee home Sunday started in a fireplace and caused $130,000 in damage.

One of the residents was still awake and noticed smoke coming from the basement and was able to get his family out of the burning home in the 11900 block of West 66th Street.

Investigators said the fire originated from a lower-level fire place. No working smoke alarms were found in the home during the investigation.

"Had the resident not been awake and noticed the smoke, this fire could have had a catastrophic ending with no working smoke alarms to awake the two adults and two sleeping children," Shawnee Fire Marshal Corey Sands said.

The American Red Cross was contacted to offer help to the family.

Kansas City, KS, firefighters responded to two fires Saturday night that started in chimney flues or around fireplaces. On Friday night, a fire in an unattended fireplace damaged a KCK home that was being remodeled.

Also Friday night, Lee's Summit firefighters fought a house fire that started in a chimney flue.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of five home fire deaths occurred in homes without working smoke alarms from 2007-11.

Fire officials remind people to have their fireplaces inspected before using them and to make sure they have working smoke alarms.

Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.  The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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