Suburban Kansas City apartment fire ruled accidental

People watch an eight-alarm fire that began at an apartment complex under construction and than spread to several nearby homes Monday, March 20, 2017, in Overland Park, Kan. Once one roof caught fire, embers jumped from roof to roof, spreading the blaze, said Overland Park Fire Department spokesman Jason Rhodes. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) — Authorities say a welder accidentally started a fire that spread from a suburban Kansas City apartment complex that was under construction to nearly two dozen homes.

The Kansas City Star reports that Overland Park Fire Marshal Mark Sweany said Tuesday evening that the fire started Monday when a welder ignited wooden building materials at the multimillion-dollar CityPlace development. The blaze leveled one large, four-story apartment building and heavily damaged a second. Intense heat and the burning debris that rained down also spread the fire into a nearby neighborhood.

Three firefighters were treated for minor injuries.

Overland Park Fire Chief Bryan Dehner says the building where the fire started was “vulnerable” because it was so early in the construction process that it lacked fire deterrents such as sprinklers.


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