Kansas FF Dies in Blaze

SHAWNEE, Kan. --

A Shawnee firefighter has died at an area hospital from injuries he suffered while fighting a large house fire Saturday night.

At a news conference on Sunday afternoon, the Shawnee Fire Department said John Glaser, 33, was a six-year veteran who leaves behind a wife and two young children. The department said the family has requested privacy.

Fire Chief Jeff Hudson said Glaser was "a nice guy, a good friend and a great dad," who spoke often about his children. It said Glaser was the first Shawnee firefighter to die in the line of duty.

The fire was reported by automatic alarm at 8:55 p.m. Saturday at 13408 W. 75th Court, according to fire officials. When firefighters arrived, they found the home burning out of control. Neighbors told firefighters they thought two people and a dog were inside.

Firefighters began attacking the fire and searching the home.

The homeowner was not at home at the time of the fire, but his dog was. Firefighters rescued the dog. One witness told KMBC that the family cat did not survive the fire.

As they were searching the home at 9:12 p.m., a mayday call went out because a firefighter was missing, according to the news release. Several firefighters searched the home and found Glaser unresponsive at the rear of the home.

Hudson said the smoke was so heavy that crews were in a "feel and go" operation while searching for the firefighter.

Flames poured from a home that caught fire in Shawnee late Saturday. A 33-year-old Shawnee firefighter died in the fire.

A resident told KMBC that the firefighter fell. The firefighter was not breathing and in cardiac arrest when he was rushed by ambulance to a hospital, Johnson County Med-Act officials told KMBC.

Glaser died a short time later at Shawnee Mission Medical Center, according to the fire department's release.

A second firefighter was treated and released from a hospital. Hudson described his injury as "very minor."

It took firefighters about two hours to get the fire under control. The home suffered heavy damage. When the sun came up early Sunday, most of the home's roof was gone.

Witnesses from the neighborhood lined the streets to watch the fire and the rescue effort.

"We walked to the side of the house and there was about 14 fire truck here and we saw the dog. They were carrying the dog out because it was passed out and they put oxygen on it and took it away in an ambulance," said witness Emily Holt.

Shawnee fire officials as of early Sunday morning have not released a cause of the fire or a damage estimate.

Hudson said the city was planning to set up a fund for Glaser's family next week.

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