KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Court records show a witness helped police track down a man who was seen on the front porch of a home before it caught fire.
A woman who was pulled from the burning home did not survive. A 3-year-old who was also rescued was critically hurt.
Family and friends are mourning the death of 66-year-old Dora Gamble.
Firefighters rescued her and her grandchild from a second story bedroom on March 31st.
According to court records, a person who lives in the area drove by Gamble’s home on their way to the store.
They recognized a man sitting on the front porch and kept driving. When they returned from the store, they saw the same man walking with a bandage on his right hand. They saw him head to a bus stop near55th and Troost.
That’s when they also notice Gamble’s home was on fire and called 911.
KCTV5 spoke to firefighters on Wednesday.
“We had a lot of fire to go through,” Jimmy Walker said on Wednesday. “We had heavy fire on the first floor and the second floor.”
Firefighters described the fire as fast moving. They say the front porch was burned so badly it collapsed underneath firefighters’ feet as they made their way to the second floor to pull Dora and a three-year-old out of the home.
Court records show the witness told police what they saw, and the man was taken into custody at the bus stop for questioning.
While being questioned, detectives say the man told them he was smoking a cigarette on the front porch and put it out in a can.
He eventually realized the can was on fire and kicked it over to try to put out the fire with his shoe, but it quickly grew.
He told investigators he went inside and grabbed a bowl of water, but the porch was now engulfed. Investigators say he told them he was unaware anyone else was home and thought the victim was at work and would have taken the child with her. Detectives asked why he didn’t call for help or alert neighbors and he said he was “afraid and wanted to get away from the fire.”
The suspicious death investigation is ongoing.
Because no charges are filed, KCTV5 News is not releasing the name of the man who was questioned.