September 22, 2023

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The Hutchinson Fire Department is investigating as arson a residential fire from which firefighters rescued a girl on Monday.

Fire Chief Kim Forbes said the call came in at 3:26 p.m. at a single-story triplex apartment at 108, 110 and 112 W. 10th Ave. When firefighters arrived, Forbes said, the entire front door of the residence was on fire, and firefighters learned a girl was still inside.

The girl was pulled out the back door of the residence and brought to the front yard, where emergency responders rushed to her aid. Dressed in a pink, short-sleeved T-shirt and blue jeans, she was laid out in the yard for a brief time before the responders covered her in a thick blanket, as temperatures were below 30 degrees. She was able to walk around under her own strength but was transported to the hospital for evaluation.

The home sustained moderate heat and smoke damage, Forbes said, adding the fire didn’t extend far into the home, causing minimal damage to the living room. Forbes also said firemen were able to quickly roll out a hose and douse the burning door. According to a fire department press release, the fire was controlled in 15 minutes, but units were at the scene for two hours. Preliminary damage was estimated at $10,000.

Multiple fire trucks and Hutchinson Police Department vehicles blocked off 10th Avenue from Adams to Washington Street. Les Mullins, who lives just across the street, said he became concerned after he heard all the commotion outside.

“It looked like a war zone outside. I didn’t know what was going on,” said Mullins.

He said the apartment was occupied by a family with a baby, a man and a college student. The girl was the only person inside the apartment when firefighters arrived.

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