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Officials: House fire in Hutchinson that critically injured boy was electrical

Hutchinson fire department employee John Likes takes photographs of the burned house from the front porch Wednesday as he helps investigate an apartment house fire in Hutchinson. (Dec. 24, 2014)
Hutchinson fire department employee John Likes takes photographs of the burned house from the front porch Wednesday as he helps investigate an apartment house fire in Hutchinson. (Dec. 24, 2014) The Hutchinson News

Fire investigators have determined the cause of a Wednesday morning fire that critically injured an 8-year-old boy was electrical.

The names and ages of those injured in the early-morning fire weren’t immediately available, but officials said eight occupants from the house were taken to the hospital, including the boy, who was transported to Wichita in critical condition.

“As of this time it is believed all but the critical patient have been released from the hospital,” Fire Capt. Doug Hanen stated in a late-afternoon news release Wednesday.

Hutchinson Fire Chief Kim Forbes said the boy suffered severe burns. Officials initially reported the injured youth was teenager.

A woman was also initially reported as critically injured, suffering from smoke inhalation, and another occupant as seriously hurt, but their injuries turned out less severe.

Firefighters were called to the home at 416 W. First Ave. at 4:50 a.m. Wednesday. The structure is a two-story, wood frame home subdivided into two apartments; one on the first floor and one on the second floor. There were eight people inside the six-bedroom apartment at the time of the fire, Forbes said.

Firefighters learned three people were trapped on the second floor in the rear of the residence. Firefighters raised ladders to the back of the residence and rescued the three through a bedroom window.

Forbes said he is unaware how the 8-year-old escaped the fire because he was found lying on the ground in a neighbor’s yard when firefighters arrived.

The residence has been declared a total loss. The residence, built in 1900, was last appraised at $51,100 and is owned by SMSK Investments, according to county property records.

It not known whether there were any smoke detectors in the building.

It took 45 minutes to an hour to put out the fire and about another 90 minutes douse hot spots, Forbes said. Seven units responded to the fire with 24 firefighters.

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