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Authorities suspect arson in weekend fires

Salina Post – July 24, 2017

Salina Police say they have a person of interest in an arson investigation.

Sometime after 2:30 a.m. on July 22, a fire was started in the backyard of a residence in the 800 block of Sheridan. Salina Police Capt. Paul Forrester said that an accelerant was used to create a 35-foot-long fire path to the back door of the rental property.

Authorities say a neighbor called in the fire. The property was unoccupied at the time and there were no reported injuries.

The fire did cause about $5,000 in damage.

At around 4:30 a.m. the next morning, another fire was started on a neighboring street.

First responders were called to a residence on the 800 block of Sherman after a passerby noticed that the front door was on fire. Capt. Forrester said the man was driving to work when he spotted the blaze. He quickly went to a nearby house, asking them to notify authorities as he battled the fire with a garden hose.

The residence was also empty and there were no reported injuries. Authorities said they found an accelerant at the second residence.

The damage to the second property is expected to exceed $5,000.

Capt. Forrester said they believe the fires are connected and they have a person of interest in the case.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

Workers evacuated after building fire in Maize

KAKE – July 24, 2017

Employees at a business in Maize were evacuated after a fire at the building Monday morning.

Crews were called shortly after 11 a.m. to a fire at Reiloy Westland Corp. at 119th and 53rd Streets. Workers were removed from the building.

Capt. Kevin Nelson with the Sedgwick County Fire Department said a dust collector outside the building caught fire and smoke vented into the building. No one was hurt.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The company manufactures components for plastic processing equipment.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

Downed power lines ignite parked tractor-trailer cabs in KCK

By Tony Rizzo
Kansas City Star – July 24, 2017

Photo by Rich Sugg. Click on photo to view full-size.

Downed power lines reportedly caught two parked tractor-trailer cabs on fire Monday morning in Kansas City, Kan.

Firefighters were called about 9:45 a.m. Monday to the 1000 block of Sunshine Road.

Responding firefighters reported seeing heavy black smoke from several blocks away.

The two trucks were both burning when firefighters arrived.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

‘Battle’ trophy returns to fire department

By Gail Parsons
Abilene Reflector Chronicle – July 24, 2017

After a one-year break, the Battle of Badges blood drive trophy was returned to the Abilene Fire Department, where it had been since 2002. The Abilene Police Department had won last year’s Battle of the Badges. While the victory may have been sweet, the fire department only won the trophy back by three votes. “It’s always good to have the trophy back, but the main goal is to save lives — fire, police, EMS — it’s all a team effort,” said Assistant Fire Chief Ron Rein. “But, it’s always good to win.” Returning the trophy to the fire station on Friday was blood drive organizer Audrey Sheets. Sheets said votes were cast by blood donors who gave blood during the July 17 Red Cross Blood Drive.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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Crews battle fire Monday morning at Fairlawn Green apartment complex

By Phil Anderson
Topeka Capital Journal – July 24, 2017

Photo by Phil Anderson

An early-morning fire on Monday forced the evacuation of a building at a west Topeka apartment complex, with no serious injuries reported.

The blaze was reported at 3:44 a.m. in a building at the northwest corner of the Fairlawn Green Apartments complex, 5230 S.W. 20th Terrace. The building was just south of Topeka West High School.

Multiple fire companies responded to the two-alarm blaze, which officials said started on in a third-floor unit of the building.

Three people — two adults and a small child — were inside the unit at the time of the fire: Monique Quarles, Ausha Scott and Avionna Scotot-Quarles, 2.

Quarles said the blaze started after she found a bug in the bedroom of the unit and tried to kill it by burning it with a small flip-style lighter.

Quarles said sparks shot out of the lighter and got onto the mattress, which then caught fire.

After attempting to put out the mattress fire, and with smoke building inside their unit, Quarles and the others got out of their unit, pounding on doors to alert other apartment residents of the fire and telling them to get out of the building.

Topeka Fire Department Battalion Chief Chris Herrera said first-arriving fire crews found smoke and flames coming from the unit. Upon their arrival, crews sprayed water into the unit from outside to help knock down the smoke and flames and reduce the heat inside the unit before firefighters made their way inside to attack the blaze.

Herrera said the fire was contained to the apartment unit where it originated, though some damage was reported to have extended into the attic area.

Herrera said one person from the apartment complex was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor smoke inhalation. That person’s injuries weren’t believed to be serious.

Later, around 6 a.m., a firefighter was transported to a local hospital by American Medical Response ambulance after experiencing heat-related distress. Herrera said the firefighter was taken to the hospital for evaluation and that his condition wasn’t considered life-threatening.

Several cats were rescued from the smoke-filled building, with oxygen administered to a couple of the pets.

Firefighters had two ladders extended to reach the third-floor apartment where the fire began.

As crews were on the scene, a number of apartment residents gathered along the west fence line after they had been displaced from their units.

The apartment dwellers then gathered in the apartment manager’s office around 5:30 a.m.

The same apartment complex was the scene of another large fire in the early-morning hours of July 18, 2016 — also on a Monday.

A Topeka fire investigator was called to the scene to determine the official cause of the blaze. There were no immediate damage estimates.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

House fire in Mount Hope leaves 1 seriously injured

KSN – July 24, 2017


According to authorities the house fire in Mount Hope was likely started by a fire in a trash barrel.

The homeowner told firefighters he was burning trash when he was taken to the hospital.

Dispatchers originally said a propane explosion was a factor in the fire, however according to the Reno County District 9 fire chief there were empty propane tanks on the scene but they were not the cause of the fire.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

Boy dies in Mayetta Friday after experimenting with fireworks

Topeka Capital Journal – July 24, 2017

An 11-year-old boy died Friday night in Mayetta after an experiment gone wrong.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s office said in a press release it received a 911 call shortly before noon on Friday from the victim of an apparent explosion.

With Jackson County Sheriffs, Hoyt and Mayetta fire departments, and Jackson County EMS responding, Jackson County Sheriffs breached the residence in the 15500 block of 150th road and found Colby Harris, an 11-year-old Mayetta resident, deceased.

A Kansas Bureau of Investigation subsequent investigation determined that Harris had been experimenting with fireworks and other minor explosive devices.

An autopsy performed Friday determined the manner of death was accidental and preliminary cause of death was massive blood loss caused by shrapnel.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

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