Archive for Thursday, July 9, 2009

Electrical fire destroys Bonner home

Bonner resident Mike Charlson stands amid the wreckage left by an electrical fire in his home. The fire occured Saturday morning, July 4.

Bonner resident Mike Charlson stands amid the wreckage left by an electrical fire in his home. The fire occured Saturday morning, July 4.

July 9, 2009

Losing everything but the clothes on your back is a scenario with which Mike Charlson, 33, is now well acquainted.

The Bonner Springs resident woke Saturday morning, around 3 a.m., to the sound of the smoke alarm going off in the duplex he lived in at 511-513 N. Nettleton. What started as a fire caused by what he presumes to be a faulty electrical outlet in the front of his house soon began consuming the back of the living room couch. Charlson and his girlfriend, who was staying with him at the time, tried to put it out, but the smoke became unbearable, he said.

“I couldn’t breathe, man,” Charlson said. “I told my girlfriend, I was like, ‘We need to get out of here.’”

Charlson, who suffered minor burns from trying to put the fire out, ran to the house next door to warn his neighbors, where, after getting no answer to his knock, he kicked the door open in order to alert them to what was going on.

Charlson said he wasn’t sure what time his girlfriend dialed 9-1-1 for help, but he said the fire department arrived around 11 minutes later or, as he said, for what felt to him like a lot longer. Before the fire could be put out, however, it had destroyed much of the inside of his half of the duplex, leaving in its wake the charred remains of Charlson’s valued possessions, such as an expensive drum kit and a large collection of model trains.

“I’ve been a musician for 20 years,” Charlson said. “I lost every scrap of music I own.”

The duplex has been Charlson’s residence for several years and he said it didn’t come with smoke detectors. He only bought them after a similar, but less destructive, fire happened last year.

As for what he will do now, Charlson said he is living with his girlfriend for the time being and has insurance coverage so will be getting at least a monetary return on his loss — one that won’t be quite enough, he says.

“C’mon, are you serious? How would you feel?” Charlson said, unable to hide his frustration at being asked such an obvious question. “You have nothing left. No shoes, no clothes, no nothing. All the stuff you’ve saved all your life, all gone. Can’t be replaced.”


Marion 13 years, 2 months ago

Michael is my nephew and I regard him like a son.

I videoed his first public performance as a drummer and he is one He**uva a drummer.

Not to say the Michael and myself have not had our issues in the past; we have but just in case Michael does not know, I do love him like a son.

I've experienced a fire in which I lost things tied to memories and know how tough it is.

From what I know about this fire, the problem was known to the landlord and should have been repaired long ago.

Now, the things that I want to know follow:

(1) Where is the Fire Marshall on this?

(2) What is the history of this structure as whatever passes for Code Enforcement in Bonner Springs has it recorded?

(3) What is the record of bulding inspections ensconced with the City of Bonner Springs, Kansas?

We old hippies refer to landlords such as the one with whom MIchael dealt as "slumlords".

What does the City of Bonner Spring, Kansas say about "slumlords"?


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