Shawnee fire officials say careless smoking caused late night fire at the Cottonwood Park Apartments that injured two people.
Crews were called to the complex at 6311 Cottonwood Street shortly before 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night.
Shawnee Police arrived and reported fire visible and one person possibly trapped inside an apartment. An officer was able to quickly locate and remove one man from an apartment.
When firefighters arrived they reported flames were visible from the exterior of the three-story apartment building.
Johnson County Med-Act reported one man was transported to the University of Kansas Hospital's burn center. His injuries were described as serious burns. A female with minor smoke inhalation was transported to Shawnee Mission Medical Center. A third ambulance was dispatched to remain on the scene as crews continued to work the fire.
The fire was reported under control shortly after midnight and then confirmed to be out at 12:42 a.m.
Investigators say the resident of the apartment had been drinking alcohol and fell asleep in bed while smoking a cigarette. Neighbors awoke to the sound of smoke alarms and called 911 for help.
Shawnee fire marshal Corey Sands says, "this fire underscores the extreme dangers of smoking in bed and especially while under the influence."
The Merriam Fire Department and a Battalion Chief from the Overland Park Fire Department assisted on the call.
The Red Cross is assisting residents who were displaced by the fire.
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