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Monday, November 12, 2012

Six displaced, one injured, in two-alarm building fire

Posted: November 12, 2012 - 9:33am
Updated: November 12, 2012 - 3:48pm

Firefighters from the Overland Park Fire Department are on scene of a building fire this morning.

Video courtesy: Overland Park Fire Department

Crews were dispatched around 9:20 Monday to the Hawthorne Apartments at 5319 W. 121st Terrace in Overland Park.

Upon arrival at the scene firefighters reported heavy smoke coming from the building. Further investigation led crews to report fire from one unit of the two story building.

Bystanders told crews there was possibly someone inside the building. One person was treated at the scene for minor smoke inhalation according to Jason Rhodes, Overland Park Fire Department's Media Manager.

Rhodes says, "firefighters used Compressed Air and Foam Systems (CAFS) to quickly knock down the bulk of the fire."

Investigators say improper disposal of fireplace material sparked the two-alarm blaze. A resident told investigators that he had used his fireplace yesterday, cleaned it out this morning and placed the ashes in a plastic container on the deck of his apartment. The plastic container is said to have failed and the fire was able to spread up the side of the building and into the attic.

One apartment was completely destroyed, according to officials, four others will be uninhabitable until renovations can be completed.

The Leawood Fire Department assisted with the incident.

Overland Park Fire officials declared the fire to be under control at 10:09 a.m. and was declared out at 10:30 a.m..

The Greater Kansas City Chapter of the American Red Cross says they assisted six adults who were displaced by the fire.

The Overland Park Fire Department reminds the public to have your fireplace and furnace inspected annually by a professional. Also, ensure that you have working and well maintained smoke alarms and a carbon monoxide detector.

Fireplace ashes should be allowed to cool completely and then be placed in a tightly sealed metal container, at least 10 feet from any combustible material, and should be saturated with water. Ashes should never be dumped directly into a trash can.

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