The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

April 16, 2014

Fire forces man to jump from balcony

A Joplin resident was forced to jump from an upstairs balcony when his home caught fire Monday night after an explosion.

The Joplin Fire Department responded at 7:37 p.m. to a report of a fire in the 2000 block of South Bird Avenue and encountered heavy smoke coming from a two-story house. The fire was brought under control by 8:10 p.m. and extinguished by 8:30 p.m.

Keith Stammer, public information officer for the Fire Department, said fire damage was confined to a single room, but smoke damage occurred throughout the residence. The house is owned by Victoria Kitchenham and was occupied by Christopher Patton.

Patton told firefighters that he was upstairs and heard a loud explosion below. He started down the stairs to see what had happened but was forced back up the stairs by heavy smoke. He then went out on a balcony and jumped to the ground.

Patton told firefighters that he thought the furnace blew up, but the cause of the fire remained under investigation Tuesday, according to Stammer.

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