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Friday, February 17, 2012

Two killed in Shawnee apartment building fire

Posted: February 17, 2012 - 5:47am
Updated: February 18, 2012 - 12:54am

Update: Shawnee Fire Chief John Mattox says that food in a pan on the stove sparked the fire which killed two people Friday morning. Mattox identified the victims as 23-year-old JaMaur Smith and 21-year-old Jay'd Griffin, both are said to have died from smoke inhalation. There was a smoke detector in the apartment but, the batteries had been removed, according to Mattox.

Chief Mattox also says that one of the victims was found in the living room, indicating they may have been trying to escape but were overcome by toxic smoke, which doesn't take long. The other victim was found on the bedroom floor. Both victims lost died from carbon monoxide toxicity, otherwise known as smoke inhalation.

"This fire is Shawnee's first citizen fatalities from a fire in more than 10 years," Mattox said.

According to Mattox, "the first thing to go to sleep on you is your olfactory system, you stop smelling things. One of the last things to wake up on you is your olfactory system. That's why it's so important to have early detection."

The building, built in the 1970's, passed its annual fire alarm test in May 2011. Firefighters confirm that the alarm was sounding when they arrived. Dispatchers also reported receiving reports from 911 callers that the alarms were working.

Original Story:

At 5:32 a.m. fire crews from Shawnee and Overland Park were dispatched on a reported apartment building fire at 11601 W 75th Terrace, Carlyle Apartments in Shawnee. Three apparatus and crews were sent from Shawnee Fire along with two apparatus and crews from Overland Park Fire.

Johnson County Emergency Communications Center Dispatchers say they received multiple 911 calls about smoke in the two story building and also received an automatic fire alarm.

Shawnee Police arrived on the scene and reported that the smoke was heaviest in the basement.

Shawnee Fire crews arrived, reporting light haze visible inside. Crews located a small fire in a basement level apartment which had filled with heavy smoke. As those crews were extinguishing the fire, two victims were located. With the assistance of crews from Overland Park Fire both victims were carried out of the building.

According to Shawnee Fire Chief John Mattox, "Firefighters and Johnson County Med-Act attempted CPR, but it was too late." Mattox also says it is likely that the victims succumbed to the smoke.

Firefighters reported the fire was extinguished at 6:08 a.m.. Crews also reported fire alarms were sounding throughout the building.

No other injuries were reported.

Fire Investigators as well as Police Detectives are investigating the cause of the fire as well as a damage estimate.

The Red Cross is also on scene with apartment management assisting the displaced residents.

This is the second apartment fire in Shawnee this week. The first was Tuesday evening, just over half a mile away from this morning's fire. 2-Alarm apartment building fire in Shawnee.

Stay with Operation 100 News on this blog and on Twitter for the latest details as they become available. Remember where you heard this news first. Operation 100 News, reporting the news to the public as it breaks.

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