Archive for September, 2015

Three hurt in semi vs. car crash near Harvey/Marion County line

By Angela Smith
KWCH – September 30, 2015

harvey co fire 9302015

Harvey County dispatchers say emergency crews responded to the scene of a car vs. semi accident along the Harvey/Marion County line on Hwy-50 near Peabody.

The crash, between a semi truck and a Toyota Corolla, was called in about 5:40 p.m.

Dispatchers confirm three people were hurt in the crash. We don’t know their conditions at this time. Heavy damage was spotted on the front and passenger side of the Toyota Corolla.

The semi truck overturned, scattering debris onto the roadway.

An emergency helicopter was launched to the scene to assist with treating and transporting the patients.

Minor fire Sunday at Plumb Thicket

Harper Advocate – September 9, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 30, 2015

Harper fire units were at the Plumb Thicket Landfill Sunday afternoon about 20 minutes keeping fire from the facilities high-dollar “tipper” machine in a fire in 101 degree temperature which was quickly controlled by Plumb Thicket employees.

A Harper truck used foam to stop flames headed towards the tipper as the Plumb Thicket crew pushed the fire up in a pile with a bulldozer and then covered it with dirt.

The tipper is a machine that takes the big semi truck trailers that arrive with trash and tips them up in the air to dump them into the landfill.

Firefighters respond to Burlington apartment fire

By Mark Petterson
Coffey County Republican – September 24, 2015
Submitted by Newz Group Clipping Service – September 30, 2015

Click on photo to view full-size image.

Click on photo to view full-size image.

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A grease fire on a stove caused damage estimated at up to $8,000 Monday afternoon at a Burlington apartment house, located one-half block from the fire station.

Burlington and New Strawn firefighters responded to the fire at 2:55 p.m. at 504 Hudson, apartment 3. The tenant, Misty Rabon, reported the fire by calling 911.

Coffey County Fire Chief Administrator Randall Brown, the first to arrive at the scene, found the apartment filled with smoke. He used a fire extinguisher to knock down the fire, before other firefighters arrived at the scene.

Once other firefighters arrived, they made sure the fire was extinguished and ventilated the apartment. The fire was confined to the stove, exhaust hood, area above the stove and siding outside the house where the exhaust vent was located.

Brown said Rabon tried to extinguish the fire with a fire extinguisher; but she was unable to turn the stove off and the fire reignited.

The apartment house has four apartments, two at ground level and two on a second story. The fire was located in a lower level apartment on the west side. None of the other tenants were home at the time of the fire.

Brown classified the fire as unintentional. Brown’s loss estimate includes smoke damage throughout Rabon’s apartment, as well as some smoke damage in adjoining apartments. Delvin Garrett, the landlord, has insurance on the structure; however, Rabon did not have renter’s insurance, according to Brown. She and her son were displaced for the night and stayed with family.

Burlington Fire Station responded with the aerial truck and New Strawn Fire Station brought a pumper truck. Eleven Burlington firefighters and three New Strawn firefighters were on the scene for about 50 minutes.

1 hurt in apartment fire near downtown Wichita

By Ben Bradley
KAKE – September 30, 2015

wichita fire 9302015

wichita fire 9302015b

A person has been hurt in a fire at a small apartment building near downtown Wichita.

The fire broke out shortly after 9 a.m. in the 900 block of South Topeka. Crews who arrived first on scene reported seeing smoke showing.

The former two-story house had been converted into a four-plex, and there were 11 people inside when the fire started. Everyone made it out, but one person was taken to an area hospital for smoke inhalation.

Red Cross has been called in to assist the residents.

The fire began in a bedroom on the first floor. A damage estimate is not yet available.

Youth Career Expo

Kansas City Star – September 30, 2015

Photo by Keith Myers

Photo by Keith Myers

A Youth Career Expo focused on public service career paths hosted about 3,000 middle and high school students on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015, in Bartle Hall. Austin Anderson (right), a sophomore at Belton High School practiced his paramedic skills on an intubation training mannequin under the guidance of John Zimbelman, fire marshal of the Kansas City Kansas Fire Department. The expo featured over 60 booths from Kansas City, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Johnson County, Jackson County and other surrounded cities.

Officials evacuate area of Pottawatomie Avenue for gas leak

Manhattan Mercury – September 30, 2015

Manhattan Fire Department officials evacuated residents within a quarter-mile radius of 916 Pottawatomie Ave. on Tuesday afternoon because of a gas line break. Officials responded to a report of a natural gas line rupture just before 3 p.m. They asked residents to leave the area or stay away while they worked to fix the leak. The affected area includes the 800 to 1000 block of Pottowatomie, including Pottowatomie Court, Greenfield Circle and Sunrise Circle, officials said in a report. The leak was fixed at about 5:30 p.m., and residents were allowed to return to their homes. No injuries were reported.

Fire chief confident of response times despite existence of train traffic

By Adam Stewart
Hutchinson News – September 30, 2015

With more people moving to downtown Hutchinson, a business owner thinks this is the wrong time for the city to close a downtown fire station, which the Hutchinson Fire Department plans to do within a couple of years.

The city is nearing the start of work to replace the fire station at the intersection of Avenue E and Walnut Street, which will be followed by replacement of the station at 11th Avenue and Hendricks and movement of the 20th Avenue station somewhere closer to 17th and Severance, provided budgets allow the work.

After those projects are done, the fire department plans to shut down the station at Avenue B and Walnut as an active fire station and turn it into a resource and storage site. The firefighters and equipment stationed at Avenue B and Walnut would then move to the Avenue E and Walnut station.

Those plans have Lloyd Armstrong of Armstrong’s Antiques worried about downtown’s safety. His main concern is that two sets of railroad tracks run between avenues C and D. When trains are on the tracks, fire trucks would need to spend extra time to go over the tracks on the Woodie Seat Freeway to get downtown. Armstrong said a friend saw 37 trains cross Main Street between the two stations.

Parker Exposito of Alexander’s Jewelers said he remembers a time when minutes made the difference for a building. The store was the victim of an arson fire in October 2008.

“They said if they’d been 15 minutes later, this building would have probably burned down,” Exposito said.

He said the business’ proximity to a fire station may have saved it, and he is concerned about the extra time it might take firefighters to get around with the planned closure.

Armstrong said he is especially worried about fire trucks taking the Woodie Seat Freeway during bad weather. He said increased fire truck traffic on the freeway when it is slick is bound to cause crashes.

“There’s been a million wrecks on that freeway,” Armstrong said.

He said he thought even eight minutes would be too fast for fire trucks to safely take that detour when roads are slick.

To the extent that there can be a right time, Armstrong thinks this is the wrong time to close the Avenue B and Walnut fire station. Between the Wiley Building and loft apartments above businesses – including Armstrong living above his own business – he sees downtown’s population booming.

“We have more people living downtown than we have in probably five decades,” he said.

Jim Seitnater, downtown development director for the city, estimated that more than 400 people live in the area bounded by Adams and Poplar streets, Fourth Avenue and Avenue C. “I appreciate Lloyd’s concerns as he has been a longtime downtown leader and is a downtown resident,” Seitnater said.

The extra drive time to calls closer to the Avenue B station from the Avenue E station would be a relatively small concern, Fire Chief Kim Forbes said. Once a truck is out of the station, it takes only a minute to get from the Avenue E station to Avenue A, provided no trains are on the tracks.

In the event that a train is on the tracks, taking the Woodie Seat Freeway increases the drive time to 2½ to three minutes. Forbes said the Kansas and Oklahoma tracks have one train on them a day. A Union Pacific representative said traffic on that company’s tracks varies but is normally five to 15 trains a day.

Driving time is just one piece of the response times for firefighters. Forbes said that from the time someone dials 911 to the time communications calls out responders is typically a minute if all goes well. Once firefighters get the call, the goal is to be out of the station within another minute. And when the first truck gets on the scene, firefighters can start getting water on the fire in about a minute and a half, he said.

As far as safety on the freeway is concerned, that is something the fire department already deals with. When the freeway is slick and there are crashes on it, firefighters are among the emergency workers who respond, Forbes said. He added that during inclement weather, the fire department works with city public works to identify which emergency routes need to be prioritized for treatment.

“We’ve been doing this for a long time, coming and going over that Woodie Seat Freeway,” he said.

Forbes also sees value in combining the two stations into one. Having the units together means sending the ladder truck on fewer calls, which means less wear and tear on it. It also will give the crews more ability to train and practice together and the ability to arrive on scene at the same time.

When two trucks arrive at a fire at the same time, one crew can get to work breaking down any doors that require it while the other crew gets the hose running. If just one crew arrives at a time, its members may have to switch back and forth between entry tools and the fire hose.

Fire coverage elsewhere in Hutch

Armstrong is also worried about the plan to close the fire station at the intersection of 20th Avenue and Main Street to move it closer to 17th and Severance and its effects on the core of Hutchinson.

“Everything is moving away from the core area, period,” he said.

Forbes, though, says the plan is based on development trends that almost anyone can see in Hutchinson. More and more development is happening in the northeast quarter of the city. Just last week the city approved building permits for two new restaurants on 17th Avenue.

He said that even with the move, the least-covered portions of the city can still have three fire trucks on the scene within eight minutes.

“I trust Chief Forbes’ analysis of the best future coverage for all of Hutchinson, replacing the aging stations within a budget and the city’s continuing growth to the northeast,” Seitnater said.