Post updated at 12:44 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22:
A Lawrence home was damaged in a fire early Thursday, and an officer suffered some smoke inhalation but is OK, according to Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical.
Firefighters were dispatched to a home in the 2400 block of Brookside Drive around 1:15 a.m. Thursday.
“Significant flames were visible when they arrived, and four officers ultimately forced entry into the residence from the front and the rear to attempt to locate people in the house,” Sgt. Drew Fennelly of the Lawrence Police Department said via email. “They were unable to search the entire residence before the smoke, flames, and a falling ceiling forced the supervisor in the house to order all officers out. They exited the house and began breaking windows to try to find anyone they could in the rooms they had been unable to get to.”
One of those officers was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene by Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical medics, and later taken to the hospital by a supervisor, Fennelly said.
“He was quickly treated and released at the hospital with plans for a follow up visit at a later time. He has also been cleared to return to duty,” Fennelly said.
He provided this body cam photo of the active fire:
LDCFM Division Chief Kevin Joles said via email Thursday morning that “During suppression efforts a firefighter ‘mayday’ was initiated, but was quickly cleared,” Joles said. “No injuries to firefighters were reported.”
No one was found inside the home, Joles said.
“We are thankful no one was seriously injured during the incident, and are thankful to LDCFM for their quick response and for their assistance with the injured officer,” Fennelly said.
The fire was extinguished and fire investigators were working Thursday to find the cause of the fire, Joles said.
“Extremely low temperatures can create difficulties for firefighters when working in these environments,” Joles reminds. “Be sure to clear a path around fire (hydrants) after snow fall to aide in hydrant locating. Now is a great time to check your smoke detectors and their batteries.”
The residents’ family has set up a GoFundMe to help with the costs of the partially burned home. That can be found at this link.
The red pin on the map below indicates the approximate location of 24th Street and Brookside Drive, which is about a quarter-mile west of Kasold Drive.