By David E. Hubler
Contributor, EDM Digest
The morning after a massive fire broke out at an Overland Park, Kansas, apartment complex on Monday, firefighters from across the area were still battling to get the “war zone” scene under control, KCTV News 5 reported.
The huge fire destroyed the four-story, unoccupied building, which was under construction at a multimillion-dollar City Place development. An adjoining apartment building, also under construction, was still burning hours later.
In addition, homes blocks away were set on fire and residents were forced to evacuate the area, the Kansas City Star reported.
Hot embers blown by strong winds ignited houses to the south of the blaze. Once one roof caught fire, embers jumped from roof to roof and spread the fire, according to the Star.
No serious injuries to building occupants were reported. However, three firefighters with injuries were taken to the hospital and were reported in fair condition, Overland Park Fire Chief Bryan Dehner told the Star.
The eight-alarm fire broke out about 3:30 p.m. Firefighters were met by “tremendous smoke and fire,” said Overland Park Fire Department spokesman Jason Rhodes. “It’s a bit of a war zone down there, frankly,” Rhodes added.
As of 8 p.m. Monday, the fire had affected 17 additional houses, Dehner said. He added that he expected firefighters and emergency crews to remain in the area for 12 to 24 hours.
Some residents described hearing an explosion before debris fell on houses and started fires. “It sounded like a bomb,” Juan Roque said. One home “just went poof,” said another resident.
Fire crews fanned out from the main fire site to do a methodical search for possible fires elsewhere in the area.
Firefighters from other Johnson County fire departments assisted Overland Park crews in putting out the blaze. Firefighting units also came from Lawrence, Kansas City, and Kansas City, Missouri, to aid the Overland Park Fire Department.
About the Author
David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor at APUS. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies. David has taught high school English in Connecticut and at Northern Virginia Community College. He has a master’s degree for Teachers of English from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. in English from New York University. David’s 2015 book, “The Nats and the Grays, How Baseball in the Nation’s Capital Survived WWII and Changed the Game Forever,” has just been published in paperback by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
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