A 75-year-old man and his 51-year-old son died from injuries suffered during a fire in their home early Tuesday morning, the third and fourth Wichita fire deaths this year.
At 1:19 a.m., 13 units from the Wichita Fire Department (WFD) responded to a house fire call at 8625 W. Ninth. WFD crews found heavy fire at the rear of the home. Two occupants reportedly were still in the ranch-style home. Crews entered through a bedroom window and removed the 51-year-old victim from the home. He was transported to Via Christi St. Francis, where he was pronounced dead at approximately 2:30 a.m.
Due to worsening fire conditions, crews were unable to conduct further searches until the fire was under control. They later found the 75-year-old victim deceased in the living room.
Investigators learned four occupants had exited the home when the fire was first detected, but the 51-year-old re-entered the home to search for his 75-year-old father. He was apparently overcome by smoke in the master bedroom.
“This is a tragic reminder of the overwhelming power and speed of a fire,” said Capt. Stuart Bevis. “When fire strikes get out and stay out. Call 911 and give arriving fire crews the location of any trapped occupants.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation, pending the autopsies and other inquiries. The fire originated on the back deck of the home. Fire damage was estimated at $60,000 to the structure and $40,000 loss to the contents.