Overland Park apartment didn’t have working fire alarm during chimney blaze
Overland Park and Shawnee firefighters tackled apartment flames early this morning.
Just after 8 a.m., the crews responded to a building fire call at the Grant 79 Apartments in the 9200 block of west 79th Street.
First units on the scene reported smoke showing from a two-story apartment.
Overland Park Police helped evacuate residents.
Fire crews searched for remaining occupants, while additional crews attacked a fire in the wall of a first floor apartment.
The fire was quickly determined to have spread from a fireplace chimney into a surrounding wall.
Firefighters knocked down the fire in about 20 minutes.
The fire had been detected by apartment maintenance workers who noticed smoke and alerted residents.
The unit's smoke alarms were not working, due to missing batteries, leaving residents unaware of the fire.
In all, three apartments are damaged and six residents are displaced.
Apartment management or the Red Cross will assist residents with relocation.
Fire investigators believe a resident used their fireplace last evening and that the fire may have been smoldering in the wall since that time.
Also, the resident reported burning treated wood and scrap lumber, which can burn hotter than seasoned firewood.
Overland Park Fire wants to remind people to have their fireplaces inspected annually by a professional and to burn only dry, seasoned firewood.
Also be sure to have and maintain working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
Heating safety is critical during cold weather months, so please be careful as you work to stay warm.