Archive for May, 2017

Firefighters quickly douse 2-alarm blaze on Kopp Drive Tuesday

By Mary Shirk
Manhattan Mercury – May 31, 2017

Photo by Jackie Dobson. Click on photo to view full-size.

The Manhattan Fire Department responded to a house fire at 122 Kopp Drive shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday. Assistant fire chief Mike Kaus said firefighters quickly extinguished the blaze.

Firefighters used a chainsaw and a fire axe to cut a hole the roof of the home to vent the excess heat and smoke from inside the house. The fire appeared to have started in the back of the residence but a cause of the fire has not been determined, Kaus said.


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Crews battle apartment fire in southeast Wichita

KSN – May 31, 2017

Wichita fire crews battled an early morning blaze at a southeast Wichita apartment complex. It happened in the 9200 block of East Harry just after 6 a.m. at the Buttonwood Tree Apartments.

The fire started in a second story apartment, and it impacted three total units. That apartment is a total loss.

Crews estimate the fire has caused about $60,000 worth of damage. Fire officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.


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Shop building at Wyandotte County Lake catches fire

FOX 4 News – May 31, 2017


Fire consumed a building at Wyandotte County Lake Tuesday afternoon. Kansas City, Kan., Fire Chief John Paul Jones described the building as a shop building that had three-bays to it.

When firefighters arrived, the structure had already partially collapsed and was fully involved. It was under control in about 20-25 minutes.

There were no reports of injuries.


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Baker University student helps man escape burning duplex

By Conrad Swanson
Lawrence Journal World – May 31, 2017

Photo by Elvyn Jones

Brandon Keller and his mother drove to Baldwin City’s Kwik Shop, 522 Ames St., Monday night to grab a drink and rent a movie. That’s when they smelled something burning.

Considering it was Memorial Day, Keller said he figured somebody was burning something, perhaps leaves. But as they left the shop and headed north on North Sixth Street, the pair quickly located the source of the smell.

“We saw flames coming from the back of this house,” he said. “So right when we saw it we turned into the hardware store’s parking lot, came up to the house, and my mom called 911.”

Around that same time another man who was apparently familiar with the home, told Keller, 20, that an older man lived inside the home and that he might still be inside.

In fact, the home was a duplex at 204 Crimson Ave., said Baldwin City Fire Chief Terry Baker. The fire broke out in one half of the building sometime before 8:20 p.m., he said.


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No injuries reported after fire

Leavenworth Times – May 31, 2017

No injuries were reported following a house fire Tuesday in Lansing, a fire department spokesman said.

No injuries were reported following a house fire Tuesday in Lansing, a fire department spokesman said.

The fire was reported at 11:09 a.m. at 709 Rock Creek Drive.

Rick Huhn, chief of Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1, said an electric charcoal heater had been placed on top of a bag of hickory chips in the home’s basement. And someone apparently plugged in the heater, resulting in the fire.

Huhn said smoke could be seen coming from the house when firefighters arrived. They extinguished the fire.

“There was no structural damage,” Huhn said.


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Burn regulations discussed

By Tim Horan
Salina Journal – May 31, 2017

New regulations that could require restitution to fire departments for manpower or water required to fight out-of-control prescribed burns and stiffer penalties for those not following the rules are being considered in Saline County.

“If so, what should those penalties be?” Emergency Management Director Hannah Stambaugh asked in a discussion Tuesday with Saline County commissioners. “Should it be a combination of restitution to the fire department? Should it be a loss of your burn permit privileges for a period of time? Or should it be stiffer fines? We just wanted to solicit some information from folks.

“We really don’t want more regulations. We want it as easy as possible for people to do safe burning.”

Regulations are being examined seriously but are in preliminary stages, she said.

The review was prompted by the number of burns that have gotten out of control, requiring firefighter response.

In 2016, firefighters responded to 102 grass fires, 43 of which started as prescribed burns, or 42 percent. In 2015, 43 percent of 151 grass fires started as prescribed burns.

“When the numbers get that high, that’s quite concerning,” Stambaugh said.
Weather network online

Citizens may provide input into proposed regulations by responding by June 5 to a survey on the county’s website,

Of the 352 responses received through Saturday, the question receiving the most comment is: Should there be stiffer penalties for a person who does not follow the rules and regulations?

Stambaum said the burn survey is a way to solicit opinions of everyone in the county.

“We kept it short and simple, but we wanted to know where it is you burn in Saline County or if you don’t burn in Saline County,” she said. “What is it you typically burn? We asked questions as far as supporting any type of regulation changes to, maybe, require the amount of manpower you need to have for a burn or the water, the amount of equipment that you have.”

Stambaugh said emergency management also is looking for ways to better monitor wind and weather conditions.

The department has been working with Kansas Wesleyan University to monitor weather stations. Currently, there are five weather stations on a weather website maintained by Kansas Wesleyan University, — located at Crisis City, Emergency Management, Kansas Wesleyan University, Rolling Hills Zoo and Solomon High School. Soon to be added to the network are weather stations at Rural Fire District No. 5 on North Simpson Road, Southeast of Saline School and at Crumbaker Pork on Smolan Road.

“That web page is now up and running,” Stambaugh said. “We also talked about doing some wind forecasting. That is obviously really important if you are going to be burning quite a few acres.”

Controlled burns are prohibited if wind speed reaches 15 mph.
Group formed on issue

One of the key components to a new burn regulation is how to distinguish between major agriculture burners and the homeowner burning limbs or grass, she said.

“We still have some things we need to discuss,” she said.

A group was formed more than a year ago to discuss burn regulations. It includes representatives of different segments of the county — firefighting, emergency management, farmers, ranches and elected officials.

The next meeting of that group will be Tuesday.

The group has reviewed burn regulations in other Kansas counties.

“We also met with the county attorney’s office to discuss, ‘What can we do within our regulations to define what some of the penalties are if you are not doing what you should be doing in controlling your fires?’” she said.

A prescribed burn association is being discussed.

“It has been a very effective use of manpower, resources and tools across the state. We have seen it in several states in Oklahoma and Texas as well,” she said. “It’s the whole concept of neighbors helping neighbors.”


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Downtown pedestrian hit, pinned by Wichita City Bus

KNSS – May 31, 2017

A man was struck and pinned underneath a Wichita City Bus. It happened late Tuesday morning in the downtown area just west of INTRUST Bank Arena at Topeka and English.

KSN News reports that the man, 55, was crossing English, when he was hit by the bus, pinning him underneath.

The driver stopped and called for help. Fire crews arrived with bus jacks to lift the bus and free the man.

The man was not in a crosswalk when he was struck. He is expected to recover from his injuries. The accident remains under investigation.


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