Fire destroys Garnett home, kills parents

By Greg Mast
Ottawa Herald – September 17, 2016
Submitted by Newz Group – September 27, 2016

Three children are left without parents after an early Tuesday morning fire in Garnett.

The fire claimed the lives of Erica Raddatz, 38, and her husband, Kevin Slover, 37, who died Wednesday at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas, after reportedly suffering second and third degree burns on his body.

The Garnett Fire Department responded to the fire at 1:12 a.m. Tuesday at 715 E. Fourth St., where they found the house engulfed in flames, Pat Tate, Garnett Fire Chief, said.

Tate said the fire started in the carport and the cause is unknown.

“There was a lot of fire on the west side of the house,” Tate said. “Under that carport was an automobile which was fully involved in fire and it set the west side of that house on fire real quickly.”

Tate said he got to the fire quickly and the house was already too hot to enter.

“Bystanders were yelling somebody else was in the house,” Tate said. “There was no way to make entry with that much fire without a hose line. The firefighters did an excellent job making an entry in there.

“The female victim was found inside in a bedroom at least a half-hour into the fire. By that time, there was nothing anybody could do. The male victim self-evacuated himself before I arrived and they were attending to him out in the yard.”

Tate said law enforcement officers rescued a 4-year-old and a dog on the east side of the house.

“They broke out a window and they happened to look and there was a 4-year-old standing there, so they grabbed him out,” he said.

The other two children evacuated by themselves before Tate arrived.

It was not clear Friday afternoon where the children were staying.

Tate said the fire damage was so extensive that no cause could be determined after an investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Tate said the firefighters involved in fighting the fire received counseling Thursday night.

Raddatz worked at the Ottawa Walmart, 2101 S. Princeton St., as the toy department manager.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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