WICHITA Two girls are lucky they escaped a fire at their home in south-central Wichita on Monday, an investigator said.
The fire was reported about 1:40 p.m. in the 600 block of South Quentin.
The mother of the 8- and 10-year-old girls was away, running an errand, when the fire started. A space-heater cord apparently overheated, said fire investigations Lt. Joe Evans.
The cord had become knotted, causing it to overheat and ignite combustibles nearby, Evans said.
The door to the bedroom was closed, but the 10-year-old girl noticed smoke, and a smoke detector sounded. She saw smoke and fire coming from underneath and along the closed bedroom door.
At the time, the girl’s younger sister was watching television downstairs. The basement had basically one usable exit, a stairway.
The older sister yelled at her younger sibling, and they both went to a neighbor’s house.
An excessive amount of combustible materials have been stored in the home, which would have added extra fuel to the fire, Evans said.
“They’re lucky they got out,” he said.
Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, which caused an estimated $11,000 in damage, mostly to the structure, Evans said.