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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Investigators have ruled a fire that destroyed the home of a 9/11 first responder Tuesday an accident.

Fire Marshal Raymond Griswold says the fire on Champlain Drive in New Hanover County is still under investigation. At this point, though, investigators believe it started in the attic, but they are not sure how.

The home belonged to Jimmy Kadnar, a retired New York firefighter who responded to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Kadnar had just left for work Tuesday when the fire started. His wife and their five children got out of the house safely.

Meanwhile, the community is rallying around the Kadnar family, who lost just about everything, by donating clothes, shoes, money and more.

“We’re happy to have the clothes for the family, and we’re taking everything, and right now we’ve got people that are taking the donations as we get them, but really the ones that will make the big difference are gift cards, and we’ve even had a $500 donation yesterday which made a huge difference for us,” said Scott Britt, owner of Britt Motorsports on Market Street, which is one of the drop-off locations.

Donations will also be accepted all week at Mail Boxes Etc. in Monkey Junction and Dynamic Martial Arts at 5546 Carolina Beach Road.

Comment on this Story

  • DKC718

    Imagine waking up and realizing that your home is on fire and you have to somehow get your small children out of the house….
    Imagine receiving a phone call from your wife saying you need to come home from work because your home has just burnt to the ground…
    Imagine being little again watching your house burn down…
    No toys….clothes….shoes…photographs, family heirlooms…nothing…just a pile of ash….

    Now imagine reading a news article about the disaster that just impacted your family and seeing all the comments from all the heartless jerks out there…
    Imagine people putting you down for being part of 911, thinking your “playing” it up…

    The things that are being said on here are terrible and rude. These people just lost everything they ever had. They feel bad enough…they dont need all of you making them feel worse.

    To all of those that have written nice things on here and tried to put the jerks in their place, thank you. Thank you for realizing the tragedy at hand. Im sure the Kadnar family appreciates it, just as Im sure they appreciate everything the community has been doing to help them out.

    To all of you that have written nasty, heartless things on here…good luck in the future. I am a strong believer in karma. You would never want to be in their situation…you should think of that before you open your big mouths.

    Anbd lastly to the media…this is your fault. YOU are the ones “playing” up the 911 angle, not the Kadnars.

    Leave this poor family alone and let them get thru this.

  • Guest7969

    see where this guy is complaining now about NHC….I have a GREAT idea…LEAVE AND MOVE BACK NORTH!!! Take some yankee buddies with you!

  • Guest9112001

    That is ignorant

  • sailboat2323

    Great idea, don’t have much to pack and the move would be easy.These 9-11 people think we all owe them some debt, bull..We owe the soldiers overseas.Tired of hearing all the 9-11 stuff getting old, give it a rest, go on with life like the rest of us do.Like guest7969 said if you don’t like it here LEAVE. GO BACK TO NY, PLAY THE HERO THERE

  • FIRE174

    First, all you people that have never put your life on the line in the Fire service need to shut up before everyone realizes how dumb you really are. This man and his family lost everything in this fire and his concern is that when the county took over the volunteer services, they lost about 80% of the people and equipment that was already in place to protect the neighborhood he lives in. It is not the fire fighters that caused the equipment to leave the area and be reallocated to other neighborhoods, it is the politicians and heads of the NHC Fire Dept. that did this to the entire county.

    I also want to say that I am extremely disappointed that our supposed news source even allows this crap to be published!

  • Guest4days

    I had my checkbook out ready to make a donation to the family until I saw this guy during an interview blame the county for his house burning down. I’m sure he was upset that his family could have died, but to blame the government was childish. He certainly came across as a jerk with a bad attitude. Best of luck Kadnar Family.

  • Aggravated

    Here’s hoping you are never in the Kadnar’s position! Maybe you would come across the same way. The stress level when you face the possibility of having had your beautiful children burned to death by a collapsing ceiling probably may lead you to phrase things differently than you intended. So get off your high horse and keep your check!!

  • April

    Mailboxes Express 609A Piner Rd. is also taking donations.

  • Bethany

    Thank you for making a comment that is helpful and informative, rather than an incompetent and inconsiderate rambling.

  • Guest 0910

    Man loses his house and his life belongings and you make an ignorant comment like that. Karma baby karma!!!!!

  • WilmingtonNative

    Mr. Kadner….did you look at the house and the neighborhood before you bought the house? Being retired NYFD, did you not look to see if there was a fire hydrant near the home? I bought a home in the county, and I knew there were no hydrants near the house when I bought it. I felt sorry for the family until Mr. Kadner opened his New York mouth and started blaming New Hanover County and New Hanover County Fire. If you want to complain, complain to the developer, or complain to your homeowners association. It only takes about 90 minutes to get to I-95 North. You could be back in New York by morning!!

  • Guest2020

    I know what it is like to lose my house in a fire. In that respect, I feel sorry for him and his family. When our house fire occurred the water on the first fire truck didn’t work so it took them longer to put out the fire than it normally would. I never even thought to blame the firetruck for my house burning down. Maybe it was that fact that we were so devastated by our loss and so grateful that our family was okay that we didn’t take the time to place blame.

  • Guest_00

    I hope you never face this kind of devastation in your life regardless of how ignorant your comments sound. Maybe you should grow up and spend a little less time criticizing a family in crisis.

  • Hands up in the air

    Guess what…this 9-11 hero also served OUR country in the Marine Corps. Did his time there as well. Can you say the same? Have you ever done a single charitable or civic duty in your lifetime. He never once said he didn’t like it here. What is so wrong with trying to improve a system for the welfare of all New Hanover County residents. Before you play the North versus South, go home Yankee game how about remembering we are citizens of the United States of America. Good grief, talk about giving something a rest and go on with life. Take your own advice rebel.

  • DKC718

    What an arrogant,rude and heartless person you are to tell a family that has just lost everything they won’t have much to pack. You should be ashamed of yourself.
    Jimmy is a hero…I’m sure your sorry ass wouldn’t run into a burning building…you have a lot of nerve putting this man down.
    You may not like comments Jimmy has made about the town but the poor guy lost his house and everything in it and he is very lucky he didn’t lose his wife and kids. The fire hydrant was in fact 2000 feet away so he is not wrong in saying that.
    You better hope you never have to experience what this family has been thru, then again karma is a bitch, good luck to you!

  • Idiot

    You are an idiot!. NOT ONCE has he EVER asked for help, nor pushed the fact he is from NYFD and a HERO! that was and IS the media. DONT bash him for this. He is also former USMC and served our country just like many. Give respect where is it needed, and honestly why comment? If is means so little, shut your mouth and get a life. Leave the people here a lone that are good people.

  • Guest7969

    time I checked…hydrants WERENT mandatory fire fighting equipment….its why FD’s have TANKER TRUCKS and dump tanks….a hydrant MAY or MAY NOT have changed the outcome here….

    Him throwing blame around isn’t helping the attitude.

  • Guest4343

    When the county took over the volunteer stations they moved the tanker trucks to the other side of the county. So tanker trucks WEREN’T an option because they WEREN’T there. Hydrants may not be mandatory but last time I checked water damn sure is!
    Let it be known that including Jimmy’s house there was upwards of 100,000 gallons of water immediately available from swimming pools all within 2-3 houses of the Kadnar’s. There are 2 ponds within 1500 feet. The county fire service has no portable pumps or operations for drafting from these type supplies. That is what Jimmy is upset about. Instead of looking at his comments as throwing blame, look at them as they’re intended, to help FF’s and the community. None of the solutions can be brought on if the problems aren’t recognized. Jimmy could easily be sitting back saying poor me, but instead he is stepping up and trying to keep this from happening to another family in our county.

  • Retired Fire

    Jimmy makes an interesting point on the lack of fire hydrants in his neighborhood. Depending when an area was built determines if fire hydrants were needed. In all new construction areas and the new area of this neighborhood hydrants had to be installed this is why the nearest hydrant was 2000 feet away from Jimmy’s house. In older areas before the code change no hydrants were required. Many neighborhoods on the south side have no hydrant coverage because of this.
    Now the county has known about this for years and done nothing to plan for the addition of hydrants in the many areas that have the required size water mains to make it work on the south side. County Fire officials have used money allocated to the installation of hydrants primarily in the northern part of the county as they (County Fire) made their moves that have ultimately ended up closing down the traditional volunteer service in the county. Money that was spent on elaborate over budget stations like the new one in Murrayville and the overpriced underutilized new tower could have been spent on upgrading a fundamental fire department need which is water supply. Tankers which can help are really not a viable alternative because of manning and budget issues. In fact tankers were never part of any plan this is why the district was a split district for insurance purposes.
    Another interesting fact on the south end of the county is there is no longer an elevated platform assigned to any county station. The tower that was assigned to the Myrtle Grove station is now assigned to a station in the northern part of the county. This will directly lead to increased insurance rates at the next ISO inspection.
    To say it’s the counties fault does have some relevance in this case as far as the water supply situation. County Fire is led by a Chief who has never been a line firefighter or officer but was hired because of his administrative background. (How’s that working for you?). There has always been a lack of decent oversight of County Fire by county elected officials and county upper management, this has led to questionable expenses in the purchase of a new station, fire trucks and other equipment and questionable personnel practices.. There has also been a complicit media that would do no investigation into any of the questions of bad management and malpractice that were raised last summer before the county failed to review the contracts with the four remaining volunteer companies. So in closing we the tax payers in the county get what we pay for and vote for.

  • lisa

    Dear Lord please forgive these people for they know what they say or do. I don’t recall anyone one of those family asking or expecting
    help. Someone out of the kindness of their heart started this as an act of God’s love.

    I just don’t understand how someone can turn someone else’s misfortunes to being about them selves instead of the person truly suffering from their loss. Sad

  • Sherry W

    I could be wrong, but I don’t believe it has ever been stated that they did not have insurance. Donations are typically taken for families that lose everything in a fire to help out while the claims are being filed. They only have the clothes on their backs until the insurance company comes throught, which could take months in some cases.

  • GuestLee

    Please don’t take this as a negative comment because it’s not meant as such, but I was wondering why this family had no house insurance. They lived in a nice 3-story home and had an SUV and a custom motorcycle. I imagine they also had a nice income from the firefighter’s retirement up north (where the pay is better). Also, with him being a firefighter, he knows how you can lose everything from a fire in an instant. I’m sure he’s seen it happen to many other families. Why wouldn’t he protect himself and his family with some fire insurance? Just wondering…..

  • Guestopher

    Where is it reported that they do not have insurance?

  • GuestLee

    Since several places are asking for clothes, shoes, gift cards, and monetary donations, my first thought was that they didn’t have any insurance. Maybe I’m wrong.

  • Hands up in the air

    Yes, you are wrong. And no it was NEVER stated that this family didn’t have insurance. The donations are being asked for by the community and friends because a family of 7 only had the clothes on their backs until insurance kicks in, which as stated could be weeks to months. Let me remind you this fire was in the early morning so they were in night clothes. What do your night clothes consist of? Could you last with no clean underwear, no shoes, no toothbrushes, no diapers, no prescription medications….I would like to think you get the point. Thankfully for the kind and generous hearts in our community, donations of all kind have been amazing. The Kadnar family has not asked for a single thing. To second guess a families motives or reasoning behind charitable donations during such a tragedy is shameful.

  • Hands up in the air

    You may not perceive your original post as an attack but you did question his morals, which is an attack in most people’s eyes.

    To question if he had H/O insurance since he had a 3 story home, SUV, custom motorcycle and knows the destruction a fire can cause because of his profession, not to mention bringing up his retirement income. I would think someone who spends time on a computer correcting people’s grammar/spelling/reading comprehension would also have the intelligence to jump to the logical conclusion that he did have H/O insurance.

    The only comprehension problem I have is how do the belongings he had have anything to do with the community coming together and gathering donations for them? No worries though, I don’t need or seek clarification. I will continue to take part in a community that gives to those in need no matter the circumstance.

    I wish you a blessed day.

  • GuestLee

    Why is it shameful to ask if you don’t know the answer to a question?

    There really is no need to be nasty to me. I wasn’t attacking the family or trying to put them down in any way. I made that very clear in my post. Do you have a reading comprehension problem? It sounds to me like you jumped to a lot of conclusions that weren’t in my post. I was simply trying to understand why things were being done a certain way and was hoping to get some clarification. That’s all.

    If anything is shameful, it’s your attitude.

  • GuestLee

    You’re gonna believe what you believe. There’s nothing I can say to try to help you understand my post better. But I KNOW how it was intended, and I feel sorry for you that you are so narrow minded that you refuse to see the big picture.

    Have a blessed day.

  • GuestLee

    Thank you for clarifying that. I originally thought since donations were being taken, that they had no insurance.

    I always thought claims of this type were settled very quickly, and most families stay with relatives or friends until they receive their check. The same thing happened to one of my aunts several years ago.

    Like I said, I didn’t mean it as a criticism; I just didn’t understand why it was being done if they had insurance.

  • duh

    Insurance don’t bring a wad of cash. This family was in their pjs when the fire started. So I guess staying in their dirty smoking clothing for several days are OK? Ummm no. This family never asked for anything. This is what community is about

  • SurfCityTom

    if these folks had a homeowner insurance policy, one of the included coverages is additional living expense. It also has contents coverage which would cover the loss of clothing among other things.

    On many occassions, I have inspected a fire damaged or destroyed home within 24 hours of the fire and written an advance payment check on the spot to cover some of the Insured’s loss while the balance of the claim is adjusted.

    Carrying a wad of cash around; I don’t think that’s ever been done by any insurance carrier. Issuing advance payments, that happens every day.

    Sometimes it’s better to remain silent and appear unintelligent then to speak and remove all doubt. You might follow that advice.

  • GuestLee

    …but I think I said that I didn’t mean it as a criticism. I said I was just asking. Do you have problems with reading comprehension? And manners?

    Most people have relatives and friends they can stay with right after a fire. You can keep your asine remarks to yourself.

  • lol. manners

    Manners…..no where did it say they we’re uninsured. That was your assumption. He has plenty of friends. And had many places to stay. Im sure family is up North. But with the emotional drain it was nice for him and his 5 kids and wife to stay elsewhere. But. Have you ever lost a hone of this devastatiin? You don’t even have underwear. So….yes I do Have manners. How bout you?

  • actually

    Actually for you to make it sound like all insurance companies cut a check for some of the loss.cost. You also are inaccurate. The accurate thing to say is most do this and usually its not for a couple of days. I’ve dealt with companies with helping many displaced families. So you sir are also wrong.

  • actually

    The Accurate thing there is MOST Insurance companies not ALL. So maybe you should get your story accurate also. I know also, I have helped many families displaced.

  • GuestLee

    You said, “no where did it say they we’re uninsured”??? I don’t understand. Do you mean “no where did it say THAT we’re uninsured”? Does this mean you are the firefighter? Or do you mean “no where did it say THEY WERE uninsured?

    Anyway, yes, I already said it was my assumption…that’s why I asked the question – to clarify if I was correct or not – dummy.

    How is it an emotional drain to stay with family and friends who love you and are willing to take you in? And what does manners have to do with lack of underwear?…lol.

    Not the brightest crayon in the box, are you? No manners AND no I.Q. You’re batting a thousand here, fella.

  • GuestLee

    Thanks, Surf City Tom. Finally, someone who has some reading comprehension about my post! You helped clarify the situation for me and I appreciate that.

  • Yes…it is

    Yes, he is ignorant. Like I said before, Which Interstate goes to Idiotville, you lost another Villager. We can meet them and send them both home together.

  • Guestfighter

    I truly hope this incident is thoroughly investigated and not dropped because of the 9-11 connection. Things are not adding up. I shudder to think that 5 innocent children may have died in this fire. Officials need to make certain that there was no foul play involved, for the sake of the children.

  • DKC718

    I cant even believe that you could make a comment like this. What do you think the Kadnars purposely burned their house down and risked endangering the lives of their small children?!? You sound like a complete moron making a statement like this.
    I dont understand why everyone is making this about 911…this is about a family losing their home. Mr Kadnar isnt trying to play up 911…the media is…blame the media.

  • Reality

    Actually, at the time Mr. Kadnar purchased the home, No there were no Hydrants there. BUT there was a Competent Fire dept serving the area. They knew what obstacles they had to overcome, and had the equipment to do so, If they went to a structure fire, they knew where the hydrants where and what was needed to battle the fire. BUT since the COUNTY kicked them all out, they sold all the extra equipment and man the area with less then half of the eqipment needed, This is the result. He never said the Firefighters were bad/inadequate they did what they could with what they had. If the county Fire administration made sure of the knowledge base of where the hydrants were or the ones that were non-functioning, and got the appropriate eqipment (to the scene/or purchased at all), then it could have been a different outcome (no Not save the house, but kept the others out of danger). There are 4 pools in the area that could have easily been utilized for water, as well as Several Lakes. But without Dumptanks/tankers/tenders. Why worry? Right? Why did it take so long for the Paid service to get ONE tanker to the home? This has NOTHING to do with him being a Yankee…it has to do with lives being lost. If one of his small children were trapped in the home, and they ran out of water, I gurantee you many of the firemen would have risked there lives to save them, and probably lost their lives in the process.

    Departments all over the country have standards (Paid, county, City, Volunteer), the County needs to re-look at theirs. Thank God no lives were lost THIS TIME!

    All of you arm chair Quarterbacking can do just that if you want. He was not initally saying the county burned his house down/nor WHINING. He was actually more worried about the adjacent homes, They were damaged, and if the winds where stronger that morning, it could have EASILY burned down the entire block…and yes, that IS what he said. I’m sure none of the Critics on here can hold a candle to the Many years experience of firefighting and saving lives, as Mr. Kadnar. Not to mention the Local SOUTHERN firefighters, that agree with him and his statment. THIS IS NOT A SOURTHERN NORTHERN THING….THIS IS A LIFE AND REALITY THING.


  • sorry

    Sorry. They had some sell. And then put the other tankers on the OTHER side of the county.

  • Just so happens

    Well it just so happens that there are 2 tankers stationed in the Southern district with constant 24 hour staffing, which is something the volunteers never had. Just so happens that both of those tankers were on scene right behind the first two engines. Just so happens that there is currently more water in the south side on the trucks than there were under the volunteers. Just so happens that there was a water shuttle established, prior to that 5600 gallons were applied to the fire. Just so happens the other two houses are still standing because they defended them, were already showing signs of heat damage and would have gone up if it weren’t for them. Your right, the possessions would not have been salvageable with a better water source, so really what would have changed? Just so happens that the people that knew where the hydrants were and maintained them under the volunteer rule were the full time staffing, not them. Just so happens that there are full time hydrant technicians that maintain the hydrants in new hanover county and let everyone know exactly which ones are in service(which all hydrants around that house were). Next time you see one of the volunteers ask them how the Musselwhite’s house faired under their rule (both of them, ran out of water pretty quickly on the first one) and how many volunteer’s showed up to a fire on tall tree ln. (ill go ahead and tell you, 3). And there are plenty more examples where houses were burned down due to mistakes made by volunteer Incident Commanders, we all learned from them but if you want to show all faults then lets show them all and not the ones that you want to say to make NHC look bad (because the volunteers have more!) I was a volunteer and worked well with them, but if you want to spew facts then lets get all of them out and correct the wrong ones. I am assuming as well that you were a volunteer and see this as your big chance to get back at the big bad bully and show the public how you were wronged. Way to take this tragedy and make it all about yourself.

  • AMEN!


  • Guest7969

    FYI…I have spent MANY years both as a volunteer and paid FF….try again.

  • Guest4343

    I find it hard to believe you were a FF. A man loses his home & nearly his family and you post despicable remarks & say go home Yankee. FF’s do their job because they have huge hearts, compassion, humanity…all characteristics you apparently lack.
    I only hope you are no longer in the FireService because I would hate to think of your cold heart responding to a family in tragedy. If you are still in, it’s time for a psych eval because it seems you have become quite hardened.

  • DKC718

    Well said!!

    Take your check and shove it, your a rude.

  • Guest123456

    There’s more available water on the south side now than there was before the consolidation. Two of the tankers from the north side now sit in a south side fire station staffed 24/7. Anyone thats been around the old volunteer fire service in NHC saw what a volunteer response looked like and it wasn’t anything to be proud of. The lack of qualified vollies responding to calls is a big part of how the consolidation was brought about.
    The first fire on the south side after consolidation, crews made a successful save of a trapped occupant and his home, but you didn’t mention that….why?


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