On Saturday, August 8, 2020 at 12:31am, the Clinton Fire Department received an alarm for a residential structure fire at 1603 North Water Street, Lot #67. The on-duty crew of 4 personnel arrived on scene to find a single wide trailer home with moderate smoke showing from the exterior. Fire crews were notified immediately by neighbors that the occupant of the home was believed to still be inside the home. A search team immediately made entry into the home to search for the possible occupant.
Upon entry into the home, firefighters were met with zero visibility smoke conditions. A search of the home located a male victim, unconscious, in the kitchen area. The victim was immediately removed from the home by the search crew into EMS care. Fire Department EMT’s assisted Golden Valley Ambulance crew members, tending to the victim’s immediate life threats. The male victim was transported by GVMH ambulance to Research Hospital in Kansas City in critical condition.
A secondary search for occupants was conducted in the home. After ensuring there were no other occupants, fire crews transitioned to fire attack and extinguished a small fire found in the living room area of the home.
An investigation into the cause of the fire was conducted by Clinton Fire Department Fire Investigators: Fire Chief Mark Manuel, Deputy Fire Chief Matt Willings, and Lieutenant Mitch Grimes. The investigation yielded evidence that the fire was linked to a smoking related accident. The fire started in an ashtray and spread to nearby furniture, igniting a smoldering fire that produced a large amount of toxic smoke in the home. It is believed that the victim attempted to exit the home before succumbing to smoke inhalation. Investigators noted that there were no working smoke detectors in the home. The fire was ruled accidental in nature.
At the time of this press release, the victim was reported in stable condition in a critical care unit at a Kansas City Regional Hospital. Fire personnel were on scene for approximately 4 hours. Assisting agencies included the Clinton Police Department and Golden Valley Hospital Ambulance.