Fire devastates historic Northeast mansion

fireBy Michael Bushnell

Northeast News

September 19, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The former William Chick Scarritt home at 3240 Norledge Avenue succumbed to fire early this morning.

Nobody was inside the historic home when firefighters arrived shortly after 5:00 a.m. and found the upper floor of the home almost totally engulfed in flames. Homeowners Susan Sommers and Larry Roeder were not home at the time the fire broke out, but arrived on the scene at approximately 7:00 a.m. to the hugs of neighbors familiar with the painstaking restoration the couple had undertaken over the last seven years.

KCFD Battalion Chief Brian England told reporters that the fire was advanced enough when the fire department arrived that they were forced to take a defensive approach.

“We’re in defensive mode, obviously, at this point,” said England, who referred to the blaze as ‘bold’ at the time of arrival. “We’re attempting to put out most of the fire on the second and third floor. We tried to do the best we could.”

Kansas City Museum Director Anna Marie Tutera was devastated to see the house burning Monday morning.

“This is such a tragic loss for the community and such a tremendous loss for the city’s historic community,” Tutera said as firefighters were shooting a large stream of water into what had been the second floor of the home. “Thank God nobody was hurt in the blaze. The city has just lost a significant historic treasure this morning.”

England added that investigators had arrived at the scene as firefighters continued to put out hot spots.

“At this point we have our Kansas City fire investigator here, as well as our bomb and arson investigator from the Kansas City Police Department,” said England. “They just coordinate together on things like this to see if we can come up with a cause. It will probably be quite some time before they come up with anything.”

When asked if anything inside the home was salvageable, England said that it was too early to tell.

“The first floor never really got hit fire, but of course there’s thousands of gallons of water running through it right now,” he said.

The Northeast News will update this story as details become available and an official cause is released.

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