Archive for Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wind fuels 3-alarm fire at Shawnee apartment complex

Firefighters battle a massive fire — fueled by high winds — at the Hampton Woods apartment complex, near 67th Street and Renner Road. The fire was reported about 7:15 p.m. Thursday. Shawnee Fire Chief John Mattox said everyone got out of the building safely, but “it’s only getting worse with this wind.” At 9 p.m., firefighters continued to pump water on a neighboring building to prevent it from catching fire, too. Jared Thornburg, who lives in the second building, came outside when the fire was reported. “It was a tiny, little fire in the bottom apartment over there,” he said. “… and it went up.”

Firefighters battle a massive fire — fueled by high winds — at the Hampton Woods apartment complex, near 67th Street and Renner Road. The fire was reported about 7:15 p.m. Thursday. Shawnee Fire Chief John Mattox said everyone got out of the building safely, but “it’s only getting worse with this wind.” At 9 p.m., firefighters continued to pump water on a neighboring building to prevent it from catching fire, too. Jared Thornburg, who lives in the second building, came outside when the fire was reported. “It was a tiny, little fire in the bottom apartment over there,” he said. “… and it went up.”

February 23, 2012, 9:13 p.m.

Updated: February 23, 2012, 11:25 p.m.

Winds fan flames engulfing Shawnee apartment building

Adobe Flash player 9 is required to view this video
Get Adobe Flash player

High winds quickly fueled a Shawnee apartment fire from a small flame to a blaze that engulfed an entire building and threatened others Thursday evening, Feb. 23, 2012. The fire was reported about 7:15 p.m. at the Hampton Woods apartment complex, near 67th Street and Renner Road. Firefighters believe all residents got out safely. Enlarge video

High winds quickly fueled a Shawnee apartment fire from a small flame to a blaze that engulfed an entire building and threatened others Thursday evening.

Firefighters evacuated residents from three nearby buildings but were able to protect them from the flames, Shawnee Fire Chief John Mattox said. The destroyed building has about 20 apartments, he said, and the American Red Cross was helping displaced residents.

No residents were hurt, Mattox said, but several reportedly feared pets may have perished.

The fire was reported about 7:15 p.m. at the Hampton Woods apartment complex, near 67th Street and Renner Road. Firefighters encountered heavy smoke and flames near the ground level.

"It didn't take but a couple minutes for that first floor to collapse into the lower level," Mattox said.

Two fire crews that were inside retreated, and firefighters began battling the fire defensively, from outside the building, Mattox said.

"All fires are dangerous, but tonight the wind dictated everything," Mattox said.

With each heavy gust of wind, flames and smoke burgeoned larger from the burning building. Sparks and embers floated downwind.

At 9 p.m., firefighters continued to pump water on at least one neighboring building to prevent it from catching fire. They had large flames mostly knocked down by 10 p.m., but Mattox said crews would continue to battle and monitor the fire throughout the night.

Jared Thornburg, who lives one of the evacuated buildings, watched as firefighters poured water on the corner where his apartment is. Thornburg said he went outside when the fire was first reported in the building next door.

“It was a tiny, little fire in the bottom apartment over there,” he said. “… and it went up.”

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.