Teens Battle Burning SW Topeka Home Until Firefighters Arrive

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Two teens fight to save a burning southwest Topeka home, doing what they can until firefighters arrived, around noon on Tuesday.

Seventeen year-old Stephen Mathis said he and a friend, Elijah Scharp, 18, were heading to a nearby apartment when they saw a big cloud of smoke. When they went to investigate, they found saw the house at 6215 SW 24th Terrace ablaze.

Elijah went and called 911, while Stephen ran to the back of the house and started knocking on the door. When no one answered, Elijah hooked up a hose, while Stephen went to get buckets of water and, together, they tried to put the fire out.

Firefighters found heavy smoke and fire coming from the home when they got there. They said fire was too big for Sharp and Mathis to put out by themselves, but pointed out that their actions help limit the damage to the home.

They were able to put out the flames quickly.

Sharp told 13 News he would like to help repair the home as an Eagle Scout project.

Firefighters estimated the home suffered around $120,000 in damages and started on a shelf in the rear of the home.

They blamed it on someone carelessly discarding smoking materials and ruled it an accident.