Suburban Kansas City apartment building fire ignites houses

A firefighter watches from the scene of an

A firefighter watches from the scene of an apartment complex fire as firefighters douse fires at nearby houses 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) (Credit: AP)

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - (AP) -- A huge fire at an apartment building under construction in suburban Kansas City has sparked fires at several homes blocks away.

The eight-alarm fire broke out about 3:30 p.m. Monday at the multimillion-dollar CityPlace development in Overland Park, Kansas, sending plumes of smoke and embers toward homes in the suburban neighborhood nearby, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/2nLM3Hg ).

Once one roof caught fire, embers jumped from roof to roof, spreading the blaze, said Overland Park Fire Department spokesman Jason Rhodes.

"It's a bit of a war zone down there frankly," Rhodes said. No serious injuries were reported, although one firefighter suffered a minor injury, he said.

Some residents have been evacuated as a precaution.

Neighborhood residents described hearing an explosion before debris fell on houses.

"It sounded like a bomb," said Juan Roque.

Rhodes said it was largest fire he had seen in his 10-year career with the fire department.

"Nothing of this magnitude," he said. "This is big."

When embers started flying through the nearby neighborhood after the fire broke out, residents took their cars out of their garages in case they needed to flee.

"It was unbelievable," said resident Skip Willrett, adding the building where the blaze started is "completely gone."

Fires continued to break out at surrounding houses two hours after the first blaze.

"They're breaking out quickly," Rhodes said. "It's a very active situation."

Rhodes said he saw at least 12 houses on fire, but the number could be greater.

"The wind is not helping us," he added.

Neighboring fire departments are helping the Overland Park Fire Department battle the blazes.

Ken Block with Block Real Estate, the CityPlace developer, said in a statement that they are grateful for all the fire departments for "their heroic efforts."

"Our thoughts and prayers remain with those who are affected and will continue to be affected by this event," Block said.

More on this topic

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

A 600-year-old white oak that sits on the 1 600-year-old tree to be removed in Bernards
Authorities in Newark are searching for a person 2 Police seek person who crashed stolen car into Newark church
A Rockaway Township police officer is facing charges 3 Morris County officer faces sexual assault charges
News 12 was told the fire started around 4 Firefighters clear warehouse fire, road closes
Here is the latest weather forecast in your 5 Westchester Evening Weather, 4-23

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Features

It's good to know you have Walt Kane Kane in Your Corner

It's good to know you have Walt Kane in your corner.

News 12 takes a look at the hottest Tech Check

Eric Landskroner has a look at the latest gadgets and biggest stories in tech.

News 12 On the Scene

Check out these exclusive videos from New Jersey celebs!

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE