Dry wind feeds western Missouri house fires

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 | 6:50 p.m. CDT

INDEPENDENCE — Authorities in Independence say hot, dry winds helped spread a house fire to neighboring homes.

The two-alarm fire in the Kansas City suburb broke out about 4 p.m. Wednesday. KMBC-TV reports one house collapsed and a second was partially collapsed, while a third had roof damage.

Patches of grass also caught fire. Crews were spraying water on additional homes to keep the fire from spreading.

Temperatures reached 105 degrees in the area late Wednesday afternoon, with humidity at just 24 percent and southwesterly winds gusting up to 22 mph.

The owner of the first home to catch fire told KMBC he believes it started with an electrical problem. The man said the house had been vacant before he recently bought it, and mice may have chewed through the wiring.

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