4 people escape Shawnee house fire but home deemed total loss

The heavily damaged home can be viewed from the street in the 10400 block of W. 53rd Street in northeast Shawnee. Investigators say a faulty extension cord sparked the fire in the home's garage, which then spread to the second floor. Four adults inside the home were awake at the time and were able to evacuate. Photo credit Mike Frizzell.

The Shawnee Fire Department says a home near 53rd Street and Queal Drive in northeastern Shawnee is a total loss after an early morning house fire over the weekend.

Firefighters from Shawnee, Overland Park and Consolidated Fire District No. 2 responded to 10409 West 53rd Street just after 1:15 a.m. Sunday.

Arriving firefighters reported the front of the home was engulfed in flames. Crews worked for several hours in the bitter cold and snow to fully extinguish the fire.

Shawnee’s Deputy Fire Chief Corey Sands says a faulty extension cord caused the fire.

“Thankfully, the four adults were awake at the time and could smell the smoke,” Sands said. “The homeowner attempted to suppress the fire themselves and ultimately had to call 911.”

Sands says the home has been deemed a total loss with damage estimated at $300,000.

“This fire came out of the garage and right into the second-story bedroom windows like the majority do in a two-story home,” Sands said. “This fire would have had a different outcome if the homeowners would have been asleep.”

Deputy Chief Sands adds that it’s crucial to have working and well-maintained smoke alarms and a developed and practiced fire escape plan.

“This fire is a reminder to our residents to please make sure they do not use extension cords as permanent wiring,” Sands said. “The Consumer Product Safety Council estimates over 3,300 residential house fires originate from extension cords each year.”

Sands also notes that the city of Shawnee amended residential code several years ago to add heat detectors in all new construction homes. He says the heat detectors are interconnected with smoke alarms inside the home.

No injuries were reported by residents or responding firefighters.