One death, multiple injuries in fire at townhomes near 70th and I-70

Multiple injuries were reported at a fire at townhomes in the 700 block of North 70th Terrace on Saturday morning. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

A fire spread at townhomes in the 700 block of North 70th Terrace on Saturday morning, causing one death and multiple injuries to residents.

Multiple persons with life-threatening injuries were taken to the hospital, according to Kansas City, Kansas, fire officials.

According to a Fire Department spokesman at 5:15 p.m., one resident died of injuries in the fire, while three other residents were injured. Also, two firefighters suffered minor injuries, according to the spokesman.

The Fire Department gave the alarm time as 10:51 a.m. Saturday.

There were reports of people trapped inside the residence on the second floor, the spokesman said. Fire crews started search-and-rescue efforts with their initial attack. A second alarm was called with additional fire and EMS units arriving, the spokesman said.

Fire Chief Kevin Shirley said fire crews arrived around 11 a.m. and saw the fire already going up the structure.

As the fire crews tried to enter the townhome at 733, the fire was coming off the walls and going to the attic, he said, then spreading to other townhomes, which were connected at the attic.

Firefighters searched for victims, who were transported to the hospital.

Chief Shirley said there was no confirmation yet on how the fire started.

Since there were severe injuries, the fire scene is being treated like a crime scene, and fire and police investigators are there, he said.

Residents in eight units were displaced, Chief Shirley said.

“A lot of residents lost everything,” he said. “Our thoughts are going out to those who were injured.”

The Red Cross was on the scene assisting residents who were displaced.

Residents at the College Park Townhomes, which were formerly called Redwood Gardens, near 70th Terrace and I-70, gathered to watch the firefighting efforts.

Sherrie Powell, a corrections officer, said she came to the fire scene because her mother, her brother and his wife, as well as her nephew and his wife, lived in townhomes near where the fire started. The fire did not start at their residence, but it spread to it, she said. They will need to find new housing.

“I thank God that my family came out alive,” Powell said. “And I feel sorry for anyone who lost their lives.”

It was sad that it happened on her Mom’s 84th birthday, she added.

She said that residents have reported the sound of an explosion around 10:47 a.m. Saturday at one of the townhomes.

The Fire Department estimated the property loss at $500,000, with the loss to contents as unknown.

The investigation is ongoing, according to the Fire Department spokesman. The cause is still under investigation.

This story has been updated.

Multiple injuries were reported at a fire at townhomes in the 700 block of North 70th Terrace on Saturday morning. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Multiple injuries were reported at a fire at townhomes in the 700 block of North 70th Terrace on Saturday morning. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Multiple injuries were reported at a fire at townhomes in the 700 block of North 70th Terrace on Saturday morning. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

Fire Chief Kevin Shirley, center, talked with a representative of the Red Cross, left, on Saturday morning at a fire scene at the 700 block of North 70th Terrace. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

The Red Cross was at the fire scene helping victims of the townhomes fire Saturday. (Staff photo by Mary Rupert)

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