Archive for November, 2014

Car fire closes westbound I-70 exit at Lawrence

Topeka Capital Journal – November 28, 2014

A car fire closed a Lawrence exit from the Kansas Turnpike on Friday afternoon, authorities said.

First responders were called shortly after 3:30 p.m. to a report of a car on fire at Exit 202 on I-70, which is also the Turnpike at that mile marker.

A Kansas Turnpike Authority dispatcher said the car caught fire after a single-vehicle accident on the roundabout. Emergency vehicles were blocking the exit from westbound I-70, and it remained closed as of 3:55 p.m.

No further details were immediately available.

Years of Service

Ark Valley News – November 6, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 28, 2014

Photo by Chris Strunk. Click on photo to view full-size image.

Photo by Chris Strunk. Click on photo to view full-size image.

Valley Center firefighters (from left) James Crandall, Capt. Rob Tormey, Phil Tennissen and Nick Banning and their families attend the November 4 Valley Center City Council meeting, where they were honored for their years of service. Crandall, Banning and Tennissen have been firefighters for 10 years, Tormey for 25. Not pictured but recognized for 10 years of service was Kristopher Coffman.

House heavily damaged by fire

Wellington News – November 5, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 28, 2014

A house fire at 1323 North B Street in Wellington caused extensive damage to a house and its contents, local fire officials said.

When firefighters arrived at 10:40 Friday morning, they found heavy smoke coming from the structure.

Firefighters made entry through the front door and found extensive fire in the attic area. Firefighters had to cut holes in the roof for ventilation and pull ceilings in the majority of the house to extinguish the fire.

The occupants of the home discovered the fire and made it out of the structure without injury. Due to fire, smoke and water damage the house and contents suffered considerable damage. The occupants had no insurance and the homeowner is not available yet for insurance information.

Occupants were listed as Tonya Ortega and Justin Myers, along with a baby and a dog. No injuries were reported.

Fire officials estimated the damage at $10,000.

New 911 system to cost $423,000

By Brady Bauman
Manhattan Mercury – November 21, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 28, 2014

Riley County will have a new 911 system by year’s end, after commissioners approved an emergency upgrade at a Thursday meeting.

The commission, based on guidance from Emergency Management Director Pat Collins, decided to go with Topeka Mobile Comm/Commenco, which quoted a system upgrade that would cost $423,073.58.

The county’s Emergency 911 Fund had $748,786 at the end of October. Revenue for the fund comes from a monthly 53-cent fee on phone lines and cell phone.

In Collins’ outline for the proposal, he told commissioners the current system is “fragile and limping,” and that the Riley County 911 executive committee, composed of himself, and the leaders of the Riley County Police Department, Manhattan Fire Department, EMS and K-State police, recommended an emergency replacement of the system by the end of the year.

“We can’t wait any longer,” Commissioner Dave Lewis said before making the motion for approval.

Collins said the system has encountered another round of “complicated problems” that couldn’t be resolved with online assistance from the manufacturer.

The current system was purchased in 2006 with a five-year life expectancy. The original cost, including five positions at RCPD and two positions at KSUPD, was $419,340.00 and the annual maintenance is $8,100 per year.

Collins was critical of the customer service AT&T, which provides support for the system, and told commissioners the county’s 911 fund has the means to purchase the new system.

Currently the Riley County Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) fields about 2,900 emergency 911 calls per month and provides a consolidated dispatch for all the public safety agencies. The KSU PSAP fields about 140 emergency 911 calls generated on campus, dispatches KSU law enforcement and receives or transfers 911 wireless calls to and from the Riley County PSAP.

Store evacuated after fire report

Manhattan Mercury – November 24, 2014
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – November 28, 2014

Shoppers were evacuated from Best Buy on Monday following a report of a possible fire.

Officials responded to a report of smoke in the store at about noon, according to officials.

Manhattan Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Shepek said a fluorescent light might have exploded, causing the smoke.

Firefighters responded but found no blaze and no visible smoke from outside the store. They were on the roof investigating at press time but had downgraded the situation to non-emergent.

Store employees declined to comment.

Fire destroys attic in Galena

By Jordan Zabel
Cherokee County News Advocate – November 28, 2014

Firefighters responded to a small house fire one block west of Derfelt Funeral Home, at 1118 Short Street, in Galena Tuesday night. The incident occurred at approximately 8 p.m. according to Fire Chief Bill Hall.

“I hate fires anymore, and you can quote me on that,” said Hall. “When I was in my 20s I looked forward to getting in there, but anymore I just hate to see it happen.”

Hall stated that most of the attic was destroyed in the fire. He cited bad electrical wiring as the most likely cause.

“We see that a lot in houses that are as old as this one. We found that the family there was using a couple of space heaters to heat the house during the cold weather. These houses with old wiring just aren’t meant to push as much electricity as those space heaters use,” said Hall.

“We also noticed the house was insulated with cellulose insulation, and that stuff just smolders really bad. So we believe it was a combination of those factors,” Hall said.

The house is owned and rented out by Jerry and Peggy Derfelt, who were in Columbus the night of the fire. The family who occupies the residence was home at the time of the incident, but managed to all make it out in time and there were no injuries reported. Hall attributed the family’s safety to their quick response. He said they smelled smoke and called for help immediately.

5 injured in early morning accident

By Rich Wood
KSN – November 28, 2014

wichita fire 11282014

An early morning accident injured 5 and shut down parts of I-235 near 25th street.

A vehicle was northbound and crossed the center median colliding head on with a southbound SUV.

When fire crews arrived one of the victims was pinned, but was awake and alert they were rescued from the vehicle.

None of the victims received life threatening injuries.

I-235 was shut down for around an hour while crews worked to clean up the scene.

KHP is still investigating to determine what caused the accident.