Archive for November, 2015

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Fire victim succumbs to injuries

Hutchinson News – November 30, 2015

A Hutchinson man injured in Saturday morning house fire has died, fire officials confirmed.

Officials have not released the victim’s name, pending positive confirmation of his identity, said Fire Chief Kim Forbes.

Firefighters rescued the man from a second-story window at 526 E. Ave. C, but the rescue was hampered by furniture partially blocking the window.

The man was not breathing when pulled from the house, Forbes said. An ambulance transported the man from the scene in critical condition, suffering from smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire has not been determined. Investigators expected to return to the scene today, said Battalion Chief Rex Albright.

“To my knowledge there isn’t anything that speaks of foul play, but with it being a fatality, we work it a little differently,” Forbes said. “So it’s still under investigation.”

Two people lived in the home, and the other occupant was not home at the time of the fire, Forbes said.

Sunday Fire Damages Duplex

By Todd Pittenger
KSAL – November 30, 2015

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A fire Sunday evening badly damaged one half of a Central Salina duplex. First responders were called at around 6:00 to the report of a fire a 404 Rahm.
Salina Fire Department Captain Jeff Rittel told KSAL News at the scene that one half of the duplex was fully involved when the first crews arrived. All of the occupants had already safely exited.
Rittel says that firefighters aggressively attacked the fire, quickly entered, and conducted a search. The fire was brought under control in about 10 minutes.
Rittle says that there is extensive damage to one half of he duplex, and it is uninhabitable. The other half sustained relatively no damage at all. As a precaution though, mainly because of a baby, firefighters recommended that the family in it find another place to stay, at least for one night.
There were no injuries in the fire.
Investigators were on the scene Sunday evening to determine an exact cause of the fire.

Sculptor tabbed for fire station work is a firefighter himself

By Adam Stewart
Hutchinson News – November 30, 2015

The Hutchinson City Council on Tuesday will be asked to approve an agreement for a $12,000 bronze statue to be included at a new fire station at the intersection of Avenue E and Walnut Street.

The statue would be the first piece of art approved under the city’s public art program, established May 19. The program sets aside 1 percent of the cost of construction for public art.

Austin Weishel of northern Colorado was selected by the Public Art Design Council from among five artists who entered the competition for the fire station commission. In an interview Wednesday, Weishel said the sculpture would be a pair of firefighting boots, helmet and axe.

Weishel is a firefighter himself, starting as a teenager in Loveland, Colorado, and his first bronze sculpture was of a firefighter. Firefighters have remained a major theme of his work. A sculpture of a firefighter and arson investigation dog, “Ashes to Answers,” is the National Fire Dog Monument.

Austin Weishel has a gallery of his previous bronze sculptures at his website,

Child dies, two injured in Rock Rd. vehicle crash

By Gordon Bassham
KSN – November 30, 2015

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A young child was killed and two others were injured in a vehicle crash on Rock Rd. Sedgwick County.

Officers at the scene said the child was a two- to three-year-old girl who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash occurred in the 4500 block of S. Rock Rd. around three o’clock Sunday afternoon.

Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Captain Mark Pierce said a woman and child were in a car headed southbound in the lane nearest the edge of the roadway when for some reason it began to slide, crossed the center line and slid into the path of a northbound pickup truck.

Pierce said the 28-year-old woman who was driving the car was taken in critical condition to Wesley Medical Center. A man in his 50s who was driving the pickup also was taken to a Wichita hospital in serious condition.

Police said a witness saw the car slide, but no ice was found by investigators. Pierce said the roadway was wet, and that the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Investigators said there was a child seat in the car, but it has not been determined if the child was buckled into the seat, or if the seat was installed or working properly.

Rock Road was closed from 39th Street South to 47th Street South following the crash.

KCK Fire Department officials say they need upgrades

By Lexi Sutter
KSHB – November 30, 2015

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KCK Fire Department officials said the department is dealing with old equipment, poorly maintained buildings and a staffing level below what the National Fire Protection Association recommends.

Three of the 18 fire stations are not up to building code.

“If you were a homeowner, or a business owner and your building wasn’t up to code, the government would shut you down, and they’re not doing a damn thing about this,” said KCK Fire Captain Bob Wing, who also serves as the IFF Local 64 Business Manager.

Wing has been pushing for upgrades to help the department.

The conversation started in October, when the city received the results of a study of the fire department , completed by FACETS, a third-party consulting firm.

The goal was to identify needs within the department. Some of those include upgrading equipment and the fire stations.

Mayor Mark Holland addressed the issue on his Facebook page this week. He told 41 Action News the upgrades are long overdue and that public safety is a priority for him.

Wing and the fire department want an action plan: short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals to keep the taxpayers safe and the department in good standing.

“You’re talking about $40 million, an estimated $40 million in station repairs or replacement. You’re talking about $20 million in equipment that needs to be replaced, and you’re not going to find that money overnight,” Wing said.

Mayor Holland and the KCK Fire Department also want to improve response times to four minutes. There is talk of consolidating some stations in order to build new ones, but nothing has been finalized.

Crews work to put out fire at Mission Hills home

KMBC – November 29, 2015

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Firefighters are working to put out a fire at a home in Mission Hills.

Heavy smoke was pouring from the home in the 6700 block of Willow Lane when firefighters got there. A neighbor saw flames coming from the roof and called for help.

The people who live in the house are not home and firefighters said they’ve been having trouble getting in contact with them.

No injuries have been reported.