Two Mo. Firefighters Hurt Battling House Fire

KANSAS CITY, Mo. --

Two firefighters were hurt battling a house fire in the 10700 block of White Avenue late Monday morning.

Fire crews were called to the home at 10:45 a.m. The woman who lived in the house was able to get out safely. She said her husband was out of town on business.

Fire crews evacuated the structure shortly after arriving at the scene. The first floor was reported to have collapsed into the garage.

Authorities said two firefighters suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation and were taken to hospitals.

Witnesses told KMBC 9's Peggy Breit that lightning hit a tree in the back yard.

"I heard a lightning bolt and it was really loud, so I looked out back and I saw splinters in all the yards and I didn't see anything else," said neighbor Joan Henry.

She said a short time later, she heard more ominous sounds.

"I heard some popping noises and the next thing I knew, I looked out the window and their garage was on fire," she said. "It looked like it just engulfed it all."

Firefighters said they were not ready to definitively blame the fire on lightning.

"There was storm going by at the time, so it's definitely possible," said Battallion Chief Nick Berardi.

Firefighters said they were able to salvage valuables from the home, including diamond earrings and family photographs.

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