Home / National News / Cause of 8-alarm fire that destroyed several homes in Kansas deemed accidental

 

(OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) — An eight-alarm fire that injured three firefighters and destroyed multiple homes in Kansas this week was ruled an accident on Tuesday, according to emergency officials said.

Investigators believe the fire, which began at an unoccupied apartment complex in Overland Park, Kansas on Monday, was accidentally ignited by a welder working onsite, the Overland Park Fire Department said in a statement Tuesday evening.

The fire was the biggest in the city’s history, according to the statement on Tuesday.

The fire broke out at a luxury apartment complex under construction at around 3:30 p.m. Monday before quickly spreading to several nearby homes in Overland Park, which is the state’s second most populated city, fire officials said.

At least 22 homes were affected by heat exposure and flying embers, according to Overland Park fire officials.

Three firefighters were transported to a local hospital with minor injuries but appear to be doing well officials said early Tuesday.

Overland Park Fire Department spokesman Jason Rhodes described their conditions as a “mixed bag” of damaged and destroyed on Monday evening.

He described the initial scene as “a bit of a war zone” and said the fire was intensified by winds, which pushed fire embers south, and dry air conditions.

Fire officials said they worked into early Tuesday morning to fully extinguish the fires.

FF’s working into the night. Neighbors be vigilant embers still a danger. Those needing assistance go to Christ Lutheran Church 117th Nieman pic.twitter.com/UFCpynKQur

— Overland Park Fire (@OPFDMedia) March 21, 2017

City building inspectors were in the area on Tuesday to assess the safety and “livability” of the damaged homes, according to Overland Park fire officials.

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