Dwight Reed’s young daughter rushed from her bedroom. A candle fell over, she told her father. The bed caught fire.
Reed ran to the back of the double-wide mobile home. He tried to throw water on the flames, but it was too late.
“By the time I got back there, it was way too big,” Reed said. “So we came outside and called 911.”
Fire and smoke caused about $30,000 in damage to a mobile home in Willowood Estates, 2201 E. MacArthur, after flames engulfed a west bedroom at around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Wichita fire Battalion Chief John Turner said fire crews arrived to flames licking up the back of the house and a large plume of smoke overhead.
Inside, the fire extended into the hallway and living room.
Six fire units, 18 firefighters and staff units responded, Turner said. The flames were out within 30 minutes. No one was hurt.
“Whether they can occupy this in the future, we don’t know,” he said. “It looks like the house is a total loss.”
Dwight Reed, his wife Kristin Reed and their four daughters — Bailee, 13, Hailee, 11, Adreahnah, 4, and DeAuriana, 1 — were at home when the fire started. They live with his in-laws, Richard and Deborah Howell, who have rented the home for more than a year.
Reed stood in the street of the mobile home park Tuesday evening waiting for fire crews to clear the house so he could salvage some belongings. His wife talked to an American Red Cross worker. The family does not have renter’s insurance, Reed said.
“Hopefully not much (was damaged), ’cause that’s everything,” he said.
A tear rolled down Deborah Howell’s cheek as she looked at her charred home. She saw the fire truck’s flashing lights as she pulled into the mobile home park after work.
Howell had hoped the fire wasn’t at her house.
But it was.
She said she’s unsure where her family will go overnight.
“It’s just shocking. But everybody is OK,” Howell said, shaking. “That’s what matters.”