Neighbors aid in Thursday night’s blaze near St. E’s

By: Cole Miller

Heavy smoke and flames shot from the roof of a home near 70th and South Wedgewood, just north of “A” Street by Saint Elizabeth's. The call came in around 7 p.m.

“I'm sitting inside watching television and my girlfriend comes running out to get me and I come outside and the whole garage was up in flames. I went over here and grabbed the hose, tried to run across the street and spray the hose but it wasn't long enough, I couldn't reach it. Things just started going nuts, everything was blowing up, you could hear everything crackle, flames going, black smoke everywhere, people just freaking out so I was trying to make sure everyone was okay and out of the house,” said Alex Williams, a neighbor.

And thankfully, everyone did make it out of the burning home. Jaimi and Shane Hankins were driving by when they noticed the flames. They knew they had to act.

“Jaimi said the house was on fire. We had to back up half block to the house and call 911. We didn't have any second thoughts. It was just adrenaline. We heard him yelling for help and ran inside,” said Jaimi and Shane Hankins.

Shane says he found the man and his dog in a doorway. “He had some burns on him but he should be fine, I'm hoping,” he said.

With everyone out of the home, the fire and heat spread to the chimney on the house next door. “It did escalate to a second alarm fire because we had an exposure home that caught on fire so we had to deal with that also,” said Battalion Chief, Leo Benes.

One firefighter was also treated at the scene for heat exposure. Firefighters say there's a lot of work and investigation to be done. At this time, no cause has been determined. They say a complete overhaul of the home will be done to see what happened.