Fire destroys Olathe home

Family, pets evacuate safely; property considered total loss

An Olathe Fire Protection volunteer firefighter hustles to mop up a house fire on Wednesday. The home was destroyed.

Carla Jean Giron sat in a lawn chair and watched her home of 16 years burn Wednesday afternoon.

“I lost everything,” she said.

Thankfully, she added, she and her daughter, who were both home at the time the fire started, were able to evacuate with Giron’s grandson and the family’s six dogs and two birds before the fast-moving blaze engulfed the home at 2468 5400 Road in the Pea Green area west of Olathe.

Everything else, including the family’s aquarium, was a total loss, Giron added.

In addition to losing most personal items, including most of her grandson’s toys, Giron and her family lost a car trailer, two Winnebago campers and four other vehicles parked near the home, said Sam Giron, Carla Jean Giron’s son.

Sam Giron said he knew how the fire started Wednesday.

At least 90 minutes before his mother called 911, he had been using a torch outside the home to do some framing work. Once he was done, he doused everything with water to prevent a fire from starting, he said.

However, the hot steel from the torch apparently was still smoldering when wind gusts picked up a spark and spread the flames through most of the area near the home in a matter of minutes, he said.

“I could hear it go, ‘Poof,’ ” Sam Giron said, trying to mimic the sound the fire made. “It was phenomenal.”

The speed with which the fire moved forced the three people inside the home at the time to quickly leave and move across 5400 Road to neighbor Susan Fry’s front yard.

Ashes from the fire periodically fell into Fry’s yard for nearly two hours Wednesday.

“This is a grandmother who caters to her grandchildren and her children,” Fry said.

Most of the Giron family was gathered in Fry’s front yard as the Olathe Fire Protection District worked for hours to knock down hot spots and all smoldering remains of the house and nearby property.

Five people lived in the home.

Because the home was a total loss, people, including workers from the American Red Cross, were looking for ways to get the family basic items.

Anyone wishing to help the Giron family can contact Tonya Piele at 970-209-4818 or Susan Giron at 970-874-2805. Both are Carla Jean Giron’s daughters. Fry said people can contact her, as well, at 970-874-1535.


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