Two families who resided inside the same home, lose it all in a fire that claimed all their belongings Wednesday morning.
Jeromy Bratton was sleeping downstairs in the basement when he said he heard noise and smelled a hint of smoke. He thought perhaps someone was home for lunch, perhaps someone striking up a barbecue and started to drift back to sleep before being awakened by an even stronger smell of smoke.
He realized the house had caught fire and quickly made his escape through the back door where firefighters — who were already at the scene – quickly took hold of him.
Ron Kendig, who had just recently started living at the residence, was also asleep downstairs when he smelled smoke. He woke up in a panic and when he looked out the basement window he saw the deck was on fire. He rushed upstairs to wake up his nephew Brady and they both rushed out the front door.
Ron and Brady were unaware that Jeromy was in the home until they met outside. Together, the three watched a rapidly growing fire that was quickly tamed by the Dodge City Fire Department who arrived at the scene minutes after the fire started at about 10:30 a.m., Wednesday morning.
The owners of the home at 2001 Hart St., Brian and Dedra Tepe, shared their home with their son, Brady; their daughter, Kayla, Jeromy's girlfriend, and Dedra's sister, Debbie and her husband, Ron Kendig.
The fire and the severe smoke damage claimed everything inside the home. The Tepe's found themselves with no belongings. For Ron, the fire meant losing his belongings a second time.
Having gone through hardships while living in Topeka, the Kendig's moved to Dodge City approximately a month ago, where they were welcomed to stay at the Tepe's home. The Kendig's stored all of their belongings inside the Tepe's attic– all of which were lost in the fire.
"My wife and I are pretty much left with the shirts our backs," Ron said.
Still, he says what's more concerning to him is that the Tepe's have lost all their belongings after they were so gracious to open their home to him and his wife.
More unfortunate, Dedra, who was at the hospital at the time of the incident was scheduled for surgery Wednesday but because of the circumstances the surgery was postponed for Thursday. She was released Friday, only to see her home in shambles for the first time.
The members of the household are currently staying with different family members and say they are thankful they are all okay.