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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Gas line believed to be responsible for explosion that started three-alarm fire

Posted: December 3, 2013 - 12:23pm
Updated: December 4, 2013 - 4:33pm


Fire officials believe the fire was sparked by a gas line that feeds a fireplace inside one of the apartments. That gas line was turned on Tuesday. Gas from that line somehow escaped and ignited in a furnace in the apartment, causing an explosion and the fire that followed.

Officials also say that the man who was seriously burned and transported from the scene in critical condition has stabilized but, remains in serious condition. The police officer that was transported from the scene was treated and released.

Original report:

Firefighters from four different fire departments battled an apartment fire in northern Overland Park Tuesday afternoon.

At 12:15 p.m. multiple 9-1-1 callers reported a possible explosion and then a large fire from the three story building at 5604 Floyd Street. This is at the Metcalf 56 Apartments, just south of Interstate 35 along Metcalf Road.

Overland Park Police were first to arrive and reported very heavy smoke coming from the building. Officers made their way inside to check for residents inside.

Consolidated Fire District No. 2 arrived on the scene to find heavy smoke and fire from the building. Incident command quickly ordered additional fire crews with a second alarm and a third alarm at 12:44 p.m..

Photo provided by Brandon Kenig - approximately 12:20 p.m.
Not to be used without permission
Click image to view larger
Johnson County Med-Act evaluated at least eight people at the scene, two of those people have been transported from the scene.

A man was transported to the University of Kansas Hospital in critical condition with second and third degree burns to his upper body, face, and feet.

An Overland Park police officer was transported to Shawnee Mission Medical Center in serious condition with smoke inhalation related symptoms.

Crews worked to keep the fire from extending to the other half of the building.

Overland Park Fire Department Media Manager Jason Rhodes says it took firefighters about two hours to bring the fire under control.

Photo provided by Tommy Kreisler - approximately 12:40 p.m.
Not to be used without permission
Click image to view larger
Consolidated Fire District No. 2 was assisted by crews from Overland Park Fire, Merriam Fire and Shawnee Fire. Johnson County's Medical Director was also on the scene. Various other fire departments filled-in at stations for crews that were involved on the fire call. Shawnee Fire called in off-duty personnel to fill their stations.

The Shawnee Fire Department's heavy rescue was also on the scene to refill air bottles used by firefighters while inside the building.

As of 2:20 p.m., fire investigators have arrived at the University of Kansas hospital to interview the critically injured man. That man was reportedly in the apartment where the fire started.

A damage estimate was not immediately available, the building is likely a complete loss. Fire officials say at least 10 units were damaged by fire and another six units have smoke damage. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The Red Cross is assisting displaced residents.

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