Fire and Mystery

Quinton Coats, Reporter

On the night of May 7th, residents of Palisade Park and other neighboring subdivisions woke up to the noise of sirens running up and down the streets. First responders were first notified of the fire around 11:45 late on the night of May 6th. Residents became worried and walked outside to a scene of multiple dozen first responder vehicles and the sight of smoke coming out of a nearby house. Questions and rumors began to spread.


One of those residents alerted to the fire was Sophomore Colin Guerra. 


“I was hanging out with some friends and then we heard about the fire and went and watched.” said Guerra. There was no outside structural damage done to the house but once the smoke cleared a more sinister sight was left behind.


41 year old Charmaine Marie Phillips was found dead inside the home. The cause was announced a few days later after investigation as an Unattended Death. An Unattended Death is when the body has been dead in a spot for days, weeks, or even months at a time. Knowing of a death in your neighborhood is never a good thing to hear. 


“It was definitely unusual and it definitely caught me off guard because the area I live in is not an area that would normally have some of those things and for it to happen that close I think it is very startling” said Guerra


Police have not yet released the cause of death in the fire or possibly before the fire. That is where the mystery piece comes into play. Who or what killed Phillips? Was it the fire or was the fire an attempted cover up of a murder that happened well before the fire? All of these are questions that residents of Palisade Park and neighboring subdivisions have asked friends and family, but for now, the fire is still under investigation by the Olathe Police Department and the Olathe Fire Department