UPDATE: Fireworks to blame for blaze that destroyed family’s N. Wichita home

Investigators say witnesses saw kids shooting roman candles before the fire. Roman candles are illegal within the Wichita city limits.
Published: Jul. 2, 2022 at 5:10 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Update: The Wichita Fire Department blames fireworks for a July 2 house fire that destroyed a family’s north Wichita home.

Investigators say witnesses saw kids shooting roman candles before the fire. Roman candles are illegal within the Wichita city limits.

Investigators say one of those fireworks ignited a fire on the front porch that went up the attic. The fire destroyed the home near Shadybrook and Grove. A mother and son who lived there said they’re grateful to be alive as the family was taking a nap when the fire started. For now, they’re homeless.

Kandie Wakefield had sweat equity invested in the house.

“This was home. This was 18-19 years just gone up in flames,” she said.

Wakefield helped build her Habitat for Humanity Home in north Wichita in the early 2000s.

“I know God has me. This is just a little stumble, a little roadblock, but everything will be fine.” Wakefield said.

Before her family moved into the now former home, her young daughter died of pneumonia.

“It’s been a rough road for the past 19 years,” she said. “This is just a total, unbelievable loss. Due to some uncontrolled children that don’t live on this block, who were playing with fireworks and set my house on fire and nearly killed me and my son.

Wakefield’s insurance doesn’t cover the cost to where the mother and son will live, at least temporarily.

“To be living in a home for 19 years and then to be homeless without anything is a lot, and I’m struggling,” she said.

Her coworkers at the Robert J. Dole VA hospital set up a fundraising page to help Wakefield and her son. She hopes to rebuild her home near Shadybrook and Grove and return to live there.

If you’d like to contribute to helping Wakefield and her son get back on their feet, donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/catrinda-wakefield.

The Wichita Fire Department confirmed that just after 4 p.m. Saturday, a single-family home burnt down near Grove and Shadybrook in north Wichita.

A child was at home when the fire started but was able to get out unharmed. No one else was hurt in the fire. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

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