Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Crews put out large grass fire near Andover

KWCH – June 21, 2018

The fire that threatened homes and led to a couple evacuations near Andover is out.

Andover’s fire chief tells us sparks from welding equipment started the blaze that burned about 30 acres. The fire threatened several homes, but did not damage any structures, the chief says.


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El Dorado Fire Department news

Butler County Times Gazette – June 21, 2018

Photo by John Giffin

Four El Dorado Firefighters were sworn in Monday night. Those being sworn in were (being promoted) Michael Rose to Captain, Caleb Carson to Lieutenant, Caleb Fistler to Master Firefighter and new hire Grayson Pryce as Firefighter.

The El Dorado Fire Department is now at full staff.


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90 bales burn before storm

By Gale Rose
Pratt Tribune – June 21, 2018

Photo by Gale Rose

Firefighters joined forces to put out a stubborn mote bale fire at the Next GINeration Cotton Gin in Cullison Tuesday night. Because of threatening weather late Tuesday night that included predicted high winds, Cullison requested help from other fire districts with tankers and trucks to get the fire out before the storm. Firefighters from Cullison, Township 12, Iuka, Haviland and Kiowa County helped control the fire, said Next GINeration Cotton Gin office manager Cassie Goyen.

The 90 bales that burned were in one group north of the gin building. Mote cotton is material left over from the ginning process and is a cotton by product used to make cotton swabs and toilet paper. The bales have very little value so there was no real monetary loss to the gin, Goyen said.

Firefighters were on scene for several hours to make sure the fire was controlled and did not spread before the storm came in.


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Stapleton is first female at Galena Fire Department

Galena Sentinel Times – June 13, 2018
Submitted by Newz Group – June 21, 2018

The City of Galena would like to welcome Galena’s first female volunteer firefighter, Cadie-Marie Stapleton. Cadie-Marie is the daughter of Chad and Stephanie Stapleton. She graduated from Galena High School in 2018. The Galena Volunteer Fire Department currently has 24 active members.


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Crews battle fire Wednesday in North Topeka, rescue several cats

By Tim Hrenchir
Topeka Capital Journal – June 21, 2018

Photos by Tim Hrenchir

Topeka fire crews battled a house fire Wednesday afternoon in North Topeka and rescued several cats in the process.

Topeka Fire Department shift commander Christopher Herrera said the fire was reported at 4:03 p.m. Wednesday at 1029 N.E. Monroe. Herrera said firefighters believed the fire started on the second floor of the house, as most of the damage was there.

Herrera said the cause of the fire was unknown and an investigator was working at the scene. He noted the house was crowded inside because of the volume of items inside.

One person was inside the home at the time the fire started, and Herrera said it was believed the person might have suffered from smoke inhalation. When EMTs arrived, however, the person refused treatment.

Animal Control was at the house, as the owner had several cats. Herrera said firefighters had been able to locate and save many of them, but not all.


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Local 83 celebrates century mark

By Juan Cisneros
WIBW – June 21, 2018

Topeka firefighter’s Local 83 held their annual picnic with extra reason to celebrate this year.

2018 marks the century mark for Local 83, as well as the International Association of Firefighters.

Current and past firefighters and their families enjoyed a meal and saw some old equipment from the creation of the union.

Organizer said it is important for younger firefighters to learn and honor those who fought for better wages and work conditions.

“I wouldn’t have had what I’ve had as far as union aspects if it weren’t for the gentleman that came on starting back in 1918,” Bill Miller, a recently retired firefighter, said.

The picnic lasts two days and will finish on Thursday.


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County accepts $500 grant for fire district

By Jason Beets
Salina Journal – June 20, 2018

The Saline County Commission accepted a $500 grant for Saline County Rural Fire District 2 Tuesday morning. Emergency Management Director Hannah Stambaugh said the grant will be used to purchase safety gear and/or equipment.

The grant was offered by the Walmart Community Grant program. Stambaugh thanked Sarah Hawbaker, wife of Firefighter Riley Hawbaker, for helping District 2 apply for the grant.


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Man dies after fall at silo

Marysville Advocate – June 20, 2018

A fundraiser has been established for the family of Steven Curtis-Boese, who died Saturday after he fell inside a ladder cage attached to a silo on a northeast Marshall County farm.

A GoFundMe account has been established online in support of the Curtis-Boese family. Steven’s wife, Jessica, is expecting a child, and the fund will help with the new baby, according to the site.

Marshall County Sheriff Dan Hargrave reported that dispatch received a 911 call about the accident at 6:38 p.m. Saturday.

Officers responded to the farm at 2475 Harvest Road along with Axtell Fire Department, Axtell Ambulance Service, Beattie Fire Department and a Lifestar helicopter.

Curtis-Boese was pronounced dead at the scene.

A funeral service was set for 10:30 a.m. Friday at Marysville’s American Legion hall. Visitation was to be 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at Kinsley Mortuary in Marysville. Family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m.


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Audit: Kansas wildfire response system underfunded, understaffed

By Tim Carpenter
Topeka Capital Journal – June 20, 2018

The wildfire suppression system in Kansas suffers from leadership fragmentation and the lack of financial resources and personnel to effectively coordinate responses by state and local agencies to windswept blazes churning through dry grasslands, a legislative audit said Wednesday.

The audit was ordered after Kansas suffered through record wildfires in 2016 and 2017 that burned more than 800,000 acres, caused $80 million in damage, destroyed 6,000 miles of fencing, killed one person and about 5,000 cattle.

Andy Brienzo, an auditor with the Kansas Legislature’s auditing division, said the state’s approach to wildfire suppression fell short of operations in Texas and other states. He said Kansas’ operation was inadequate to meet the demand for services.

“We found, overall, it is not,” he said.

In Kansas, wildfires are first the responsibility of local units of government. Those officials can call upon three state agencies — the Kansas Department of Emergency Management, operated by the state’s adjutant general; the Office of the State Fire Marshal; and the Kansas Forest Service.

State auditors informed a legislative committee of House and Senate members the state-level structure for grappling with wildfires was scattered over three agencies that struggled to work collaboratively. The Kansas system conflicts with centrally organized operations in other Great Plains states.

The state’s designated primary agency lacks expertise specific to combating wildfires, while the state agency with the know-how has been relegated to a limited role in combating wildfires and possesses few financial resources for the job, auditors said.

In addition, ineffective working relationships among the entities responsible for wildfire suppression and incomplete management data further hinder adequate wildfire suppression activities.

The audit said Kansas’ limited wildfire suppression training and mitigation programs fail to sufficiently prepare local volunteer firefighting organizations for wildfire response.

Auditors recommended the Kansas Legislature designate a single state entity to independently lead the state’s wildfire response activities and appropriate the money to make certain the state can deploy sufficient firefighting equipment, certified firefighters and wildfire management personnel.

The report also said the Legislature should amend Kansas law to require the State Fire Marshal’s office to mandate local fire districts report wildfires to the state’s fire incident reporting system.


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Three killed in Anderson County accident Tuesday

By Nick Gosnell
WIBW News Now – June 20, 2018

Three people died in a three-vehicle accident just north of Garnett Tuesday afternoon.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a northbound 2010 Mustang convertible driven by 56-year-old Richard Lynn Money of Richmond crossed the center line of US 59 just over a mile north of town for an unknown reason and struck a southbound 1999 Oldsmobile driven by 57-year-old Shawn L. Gill of Garnett. Gill and a passenger, 27-year-old Maxarthur Scott Jackson of Garnett, along with Money, all died as a result of their injuries. A third vehicle, a southbound 1995 Chevy S-10 driven by 68-year-old Darla L. Thacker of Garnett, collided with the two vehicles following their impact. Thacker was taken to Anderson County Hospital for treatment of possible injuries. Her passenger, 39-year-old Albert Eugene Thacker, also of Garnett, was not hurt.


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Ness County accident kills one, injures another

By Nick Gosnell
WIBW News Now – June 20, 2018

A Brownell, Kansas woman died in an accident in Ness County Tuesday evening.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, a 2017 Ford F150 was eastbound on 210 Road in Ness County when it was hit by a northbound 2014 Dodge 3500 in the intersection with Z Road around just before 7:20 Tuesday evening. Both vehicles continued northeast into the ditch and then into the field going through a barbed wire fence.The F150 came to rest facing south with the 3500 facing west in the field.

The driver of the F150, 64-year-old Shirley K. Weeks died at Ness County Hospital. The driver of the 3500, 38-year-old Timothy Turner of Ness City was taken to Ransom Memorial Hospital to be checked for injuries.


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20 apartments damaged by early morning fire

By Mike Frizzell, Operation 100 News
Shawnee Dispatch – June 20, 2018

Photos by Mike Frizzell

Shawnee Firefighter Michael Owens Jr. monitors the pump control panel of one fire truck.

Firefighters from the Shawnee and Lenexa fire departments responded to a fire at Hampton Woods Apartment Homes near Shawnee Mission Parkway and Interstate 435 just after 2 a.m. Wednesday.

Shawnee Police arrived in the area quickly and reported heavy black smoke coming from the building at 16907 West 69th Terrace. Officers went inside the building and began going door-to-door to alert residents of the fire.

Shawnee Fire Marshal Corey Sands says the fire is believed to have started in the attic area. A resident activated the building’s fire alarm.

Sands says 14 adults and six children evacuated from the building. The building had 20 apartments, and Sands believed all have at least smoke and water damage.

The two-alarm fire was brought under control in about an hour.

All residents of the building escaped, and no injuries were reported. Residents are receiving assistance from the Red Cross and apartment complex management.

The cause of the fire is under investigation as investigators wait for daylight to continue their search for a cause.


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One person killed in motorcycle crash in southwest Wichita

By Gordon Bassham
KSN – June 20, 2018

One person was killed in a motorcycle crash in southwest Wichita Tuesday afternoon. The incident occurred in the area of I-235 and W. MacArthur Rd. shortly after 5 p.m.

Investigators at the scene told KSN News a man riding a motorcycle northbound on I-235 lost control of his vehicle and ran off the roadway, down an embankment, and struck a railroad track. Officers said the motorcycle was traveling at a high rate of speed.

Officials said the man was from the Wichita area but were not ready to release his name since family had not been notified.

Traffic area was tied up as first responders arrived on the scene and began investigating the crash.

Police said the man was not wearing a helmet.


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Satanta teen killed in Stevens County crash

KWCH – June 20, 2018

A 17-year-old from Satanta is dead after a Tuesday-afternoon crash eight miles north of US-56 and K-25 in Stevens County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says in the crash reported about 3 p.m., a 2014 Buick Enclave driven by 17-year-old Brandon Salas was traveling east on County Road Y as a Western Star Power Unit driven by a 72-year-old Seward, Nebraska man was southbound on K-25.

For unknown reasons, the Buick failed to yield to the truck at the stop sign, leading to the collision, the KHP’s report says.

“Both vehicles came to rest in the southeast ditch in a field,” the KHP says.

The KHP says Salas died at the scene. The driver of the truck was injured and taken to the Stevens County Hospital.


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Chief calls for earlier truck replacement, more staff

By David Dinell
Derby Informer – June 20, 2018

Firefighter Skyeler Reynolds gives local students a tour of Station 82, including its fire truck, which is due for replacement. When it’s replaced, it will be moved into a reserve capacity. Photo by David Dinell

Derby Fire Chief Brad Smith has proposed moving up the timetable for replacing one of the city’s fire trucks by a year. Engine 82 was set for replacement in 2020, and Smith said he would like to see that done next year.

Smith made the proposal in his report in the 2019 city budget, which is now in the process of being examined by the public and City Council members.

Engine 82 was purchased in 2001 and for four years was used by the city’s volunteer fire department.

Since 2005, it has responded to all types of fires, emergency medical calls and vehicle accidents, he said, but it’s now reaching the end of its life as a main resource.

“Historically, 19 years is the limit on front line dependability for an engine,” he said.

While the engine may look fine to the casual observer, appearances don’t always provide the total picture, he said.

“It does looks new, but then our goal is to keep them up,” he said. “We don’t let them get beat up.”

However, with age, all fire trucks experience more service-related work and the need for repairs, which can place them out of use.

Smith uses an industry formula that results in placing it at about 210,000 miles of use. That includes hours of use such as being at an emergency scene pumping water and other tasks that put pressure on its operation systems.

The new truck will cost $723,000 and, once ordered, it will take six to nine months to build and be delivered.

Once replaced, the current Engine 82 will serve in a reserve capacity for about five years.

“Currently, the department has no reserve apparatus,” he said.

“Reserve apparatus fill short-term assignments when front line engines are out of service for maintenance, repairs or tied up on alarms,” he said.

“The insurance service office strongly recommends a fire department maintain at least one reserve engine for times when front line apparatus is out of service for preventive maintenance, repairs or extended scene time,” Smith said.

Also, in the budget, Smith also is calling for three new firefighter positions in 2019, a budget item of $225,119. That would bring it up to national standards, he said.

In the future, he has proposed replacing Quint 82, a 105-foot ladder truck, in 2022 at a cost of $1.3 million, and Rescue 81 in 2023 at a cost of $600,000. Both vehicles will be at the end of their lifespans by those years, he said.


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Teen dead, mother hospitalized after I-70 rollover crash

Hays Post – June 19, 2018

One person died in an accident just before 11p.m. Monday in Gove County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 2003 Ford F250 driven by Tristan Ash Coleman, 19, Albany, Mo., was eastbound on Interstate 70 seven miles east of Colby.

The driver lost control of the pickup. It entered the median and driver overcorrected back onto the eastbound lane. The pickup entered median a second time and rolled into the westbound lanes.

Coleman was pronounced dead at the scene and transported to Baalmann Funeral Home in Oakley.

The driver’s mother Melinda A. Coleman, 56, Albany, Mo., was a passenger in the pickup. She was transported to Logan County Hospital.

Both were properly restrained at the time of the accident, according to the KHP.


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High winds cause power outages, safety concerns in Hutchinson

KWCH – June 19, 2018

The strong winds didn’t last long, but they made their presence known on Hutchinson’s north side.

The Hutchinson Fire Department says problems began before 6 p.m., when crews responded to down power lines and power pole fires in north central Hutchinson.

A little before 6:10 p.m., fire crews responded to a structure fire in the 400 block of East 43rd.

“Crews were faced with storm damage that lead to many difficulties,” the Hutch Fire Department says. “All the high voltage power poles along 43rd from Monroe to Plum had been blown over blocking access to the structure involved.”

The fire department says power poles fell onto a home and one of the lines arced through the house, igniting a fire. Crews put this fire out quickly, the Hutch FD says, but “while all this was happening, the homeowner was found inside her car in the driveway under the high-voltage power lines.”

The woman wasn’t hurt and was able to stay safe in her vehicle as Westar crews cleared the area near her so fire crews could help her safely out of the car.

Due to the down power lines, the Hutchinson FD says the north side of the intersection of 43rd and Plum will stay blocked for up to three days.

The fire department reminds people not to approach a downed power line and if you approach an intersection with the stop lights not working, treat it like a four-way stop.


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Fire does substantial damage to southeast Topeka home on Monday

By Phil Anderson
Topeka Capital Journal – June 18, 2018

A fire early Monday afternoon caused substantial damage to a one-story home in southeast Topeka.

No injuries had been reported as of 1:30 p.m.

Crews were sent around 12:50 p.m. to a report of a fire at a house at 3123 S.E. Michigan Ave.

Topeka Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Brannock said crews arrived to find flames and smoke coming from the south side of the residence.

Firefighters made an interior attack and had the blaze under control in a matter of a few minutes.

Initial reports indicated a dog and a cat may have been inside the house. However, Brannock said, firefighters made an extensive search of the inside of the home and couldn’t locate either animal.

About 18 firefighters battled the fire. The house was being ventilated of smoke shortly after the blaze was under control.

The Topeka Fire Department’s rehabilitation bus, which provides air-conditioning for firefighters to help prevent heat exhaustion, had been called to the scene. However, Brannock said, the rehab bus was disregarded before it arrived on the scene after the blaze was out and firefighters were able to find shade to the north of the house.

Topeka fire investigator Zach Bottenberg was on the scene to determine the cause of the fire.

The cause and estimated dollar loss weren’t immediately available.

According to the Shawnee County Appraiser’s Office, the home is owned by Constantino Del Real-Montoya. Its 2018 appraised value was $68,930.


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SALUTE THE BADGE: Rescue mission turns tragedy into friendship

WIBW – June 18, 2018


The Mission Township Fire and Rescue began an unforgettable friendship with one man after saving his life.


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Motorcyclist dies in Miami County accident

KMBC – June 18, 2018

The Miami County Sheriff’s Office said a motorcyclist died after an accident early Monday morning at U.S. 169 Highway and Pleasant Valley Road.

Upon arrival, first responders observed a 2014 Harley Davidson soft tail motorcycle and a 2006 KIA Spectra on the shoulder. Police said it appears the motorcycle was northbound at 5:15 a.m. on U.S. 169 Highway when it lost control and went down. The car struck the motorcycle on the shoulder of the highway.

Police identified the victim as Timothy W. Winterringer, 44, of Garnett, Kansas. He died at the scene and was not wearing a helmet.

The accident is currently under investigation by the Miami County Sheriff’s Office and Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.

According to witness statements, there were other vehicles in the area during the accident, including an SUV or truck with a camper shell southbound on U.S. 169 Highway, that pulled over on the shoulder for a short period.

The Miami County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division would like to speak to this witness to obtain a statement.


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Fire now under control at North Lawrence motel

Lawrence Journal World – June 18, 2018

Photo by Chad Lawhorn

Firefighters battled a significant fire Monday morning at the Jayhawk Motel in North Lawrence.

Emergency responders were called to the motel, 1004 N. Third St., at 8:21 a.m., Lawrence Douglas County Fire-Medical Chief Mark Bradford said.

Initial reports on emergency radio traffic indicated that flames and heavy smoke were coming from windows and the roof of the building.

Firefighters had the flames under control as of 9 a.m., Bradford said, and no injuries were reported.

The fire was contained to the offices and residence of the motel’s operators and was not in the motel’s guest rooms, Bradford said.


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TFD rules arson in Southeast Topeka house fire

By Mark Feuerborn
KSNT – June 18, 2018

The Topeka Fire Department said a preliminary investigation into a house fire Sunday morning shows it was an act of arson. They determined the blaze was intentionally set on the home’s back wooden deck.

Fire crews responded to a report of a fire around 1:30 a.m. in the 1500 block of Southeast Washington Street. A Topeka Fire Department Captain on scene said the fire started in the back of the house, and it was vacant at the time.

The fire department also said the fire was quickly extinguished and the damage was confined to the original home, but estimate $7,500 to be the total cost of damages. No one was hurt in the fire, though no working smoke alarms were found inside the building.


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Shed fire knocked down in west Wichita

KWCH – June 18, 2018


Sedgwick County firefighters are investigating the cause of a shed fire near 151st and Pawnee in west Wichita.

When crews arrived on scene, they found a 100 ft x 30 ft wide shed engulfed in flames.

The shed held various farm equipment inside along with trucks, tires, and three tanks of fuel.

Fire crews worked quickly to get the fire knocked down but had taken several breaks because of the heat.

No injuries were reported as of Saturday afternoon.

Investigators say it will be hard to determine the cause of the fire due to extensive burning on the building.


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Fatality wreck

By Greg Lower
Chanute Tribune – June 18, 2018

A fatality accident reported at 1:20 pm closed part of US-169 south of Chanute Friday afternoon. The Kansas Highway Patrol report said a 2008 Chevy Impala driven by Matthew Kunzie, 26, Tulsa, was southbound on US-169 4.5 miles south of Chanute when it crossed the center line and struck a 2007 Harley Davidson traveling northbound driven by Clayton Carl Leach, 29, Chanute. Leach was dead at the scene and Kunzie was transported to St. Francis Hospital, Wichita. The Kansas Highway Patrol investigated the accident, and the Chanute Fire Department responded to the car fire.


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Recent graduate of Tonganoxie High School killed in car wreck

By Shawn Linenberger
Lawrence Journal World – June 18, 2018

An 18-year-old who graduated last month from Tonganoxie High School died in an overnight vehicle accident early Friday morning.

The teenager, Dalton Richard Hull, who has a Lawrence address, was driving about 2:25 a.m. Friday west on Loring Road in southern Leavenworth County when his Ford Mustang struck a parked vehicle on the side of the road. Hull’s Mustang flipped over on its top after impact.

The driver of the other vehicle, a 17-year-old Perry boy, checked on Hull and called 911 to send help, according to Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office reports.

Hull was confirmed dead by Leavenworth County Emergency Medical Services at the scene.

The other driver was released to his parent’s care. He reported no injuries.

Friday’s accident happened on Loring Road about 400 feet east of the bridge over Interstate 70 near the East Lawrence Service Center. Reports didn’t specify whether either driver was wearing a seat belt.

The investigation is ongoing, according to reports.

Counselors were available Friday at Tonganoxie High School for students, according to the THS Facebook page.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our students, Dalton Hull, who passed away this morning,” the post read. “We extend our sincere condolences to his family and will continue to pray for them during this time. With the blessing of Dalton’s family, the TPAC (Tonganoxie Performing Arts Center on THS campus) will be open today and counselors will be available to assist in any way possible.”


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Fire to two-story house on South Ninth burns porch, living room

By Eric Wiley
Salina Journal – June 18, 2018

Improperly discarded smoking materials was listed as the cause of a blaze that burned the front porch and living room of a house at 659 S. Ninth Friday afternoon and caused smoke damage to the rest of the structure, a fire investigator said.

Joe Kvacik, an investigator with the Salina Fire Department, said a passerby saw smoke about 12:50 p.m. and called 911.

Kvacik said the fire started on the front porch. By the time firefighters arrived, it had spread to the living room, at the front of the home.

The tenant, a woman who was renting the house, was not home. Her two dogs, which were inside, were not harmed.

The cause was accidental, Kvacik said, attributed to “improper discarding of smoking materials,” or cigarette butts.

Kvacik said firefighters extinguished the fire within an hour of arrival.

Firefighters had to cut open part of the roof and remove shingles in order to extinguish the blaze..

Fire damage was limited to the front porch and living room, but smoke damage was evident throughout the home, Kvacik said.

Kvacik said the heat was a factor in the firefighters’ work, noting they had to remain hydrated while carrying heavy equipment in the 100-degree temperatures.

The fire caused motorists to be blocked for at least two and a half hours from a portion of South Ninth Street, from north of Crawford Street to Prescott Avenue.

Kvacik said homeowners should be more cautious when putting out cigarettes, “by making sure they put them out all the way and have a proper container to discard them.”

“Everyone should also make sure they have working smoke alarms at all times,” he said.


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Firefighters battling stubble field fire sparked by pipeline rupture

By John Green
Hutchinson News – June 15, 2018

Photo by Bradley Fideldy

KWCH Video

KAKE Video

Harvey County officials have closed a segment of Dutch Avenue west of Hesston as they fight stubble field fires sparked by a gas line rupture.

According to Harvey County Dispatch, gas has been shut off to the ruptured Southern Star pipeline, and officials are waiting for the gas in the line to bleed off.

Fire crews, meanwhile, are battling a large fire in wheat stubble off Northwest 72nd and North Hetzler Road.

Officials closed the road due to zero visibility, the dispatcher stated.

There is a vacant residence in the region, but it was not immediately threatened, according to scanner traffic.


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Semi fire backs up traffic along I-35

Ottawa Herald – June 15, 2018

Photo by Greg Mast

A semi tractor-trailer fire backed up traffic along I-35 from mile post 179 to near Williamsburg around 2:20 p.m. Wednesday, an Ottawa fire official said. Tim Matthias, Ottawa fire chief, said the blaze was under control real fast and there were not any injuries. “The cab part is completely destroyed and the truck part had commercial lawnmowers in it. There is significant damage throughout the trailer.” The cause of the fire was unknown. The highway reopened around 3:05 p.m.


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Olathe Fire Hero Day inspires girls to consider firefighting career

By Beth Lipoff
Kansas City Star – June 15, 2018

Olathe firefighter Emily Peterson, right, helps 18-year-old Sophie Simon adjust her equipment before climbing a 75-foot fire ladder called a quint. Simon is a German exchange student currently living in Baldwin City. Photo by Beth Lipoff

On a day when the temperature passed 90 degrees, donning a firefighter’s uniform — complete with a helmet — and climbing a 75-foot ladder sounds too sweltering to be fun.

But on June 9, 19 girls seized the chance to see what it feels like to be a firefighter.

It’s called Olathe Fire Hero Day, a program the Olathe Fire Department has put on for three years in an effort to get more girls interested in a career as a firefighter. The department has three female firefighters who, along with their male colleagues, helped give the teens and pre-teens a taste of their training.

“I think this is awesome,” said Jen King, who has been a firefighter in Olathe for three years. “I think girls their age don’t see themselves in this position, because it’s a male-dominated career. I hope they get a glimpse and maybe a better understanding of what we do.”

Although they didn’t practice with real fire, the girls did get to try out quite a bit of the gear. Besides climbing atop a fire truck, the girls made their way through the maze of a practice house, working with each other to drag a hose through it.

“You really have to work as a team to get the hose through the house,” said 12-year-old Emily Heflin of Olathe.

Other challenges included crawling through a tunnel filled with hanging ropes to simulate unexpected obstacles, rappelling down a shaft in the practice house and suiting up in full heavy gear with breathing apparatuses.

Because a large part of a firefighter’s job is responding to medical emergencies unrelated to fires, the participants also received CPR training.

Only 7 percent of firefighters in the United States are women. Firefighter Maureen Griffin, who helped organize Olathe’s program, hopes to see that number increase.

“It’s kind of a stepping stone for us. It gives that first one-day glimpse,” Griffin said.

Part of the reason there are so few female firefighters is that people aren’t aware that it’s a viable career for women, Griffin said.

“It’s not a lack of (fire departments) desiring it, it’s a lack of having women come for the positions …Even when I’m on calls, I’ll have adults say, ‘I didn’t know women could do this.’”

Although many participants were Olathe residents, the program drew girls from all over the metro and beyond.

Eighteen-year-old Sophie Simon came in from Baldwin City to take part in the training. The German exchange student hopes to be a paramedic someday and wanted to get a taste of what the firefighters she hopes to work with do each day.

“I think it’s pretty cool to see. You definitely have to be good with heights, especially when you have 50 pounds of equipment,” she said.

Griffin’s nieces planned a visit from their hometown in Illinois specifically to coincide with this weekend so they could take part in the program. The annual program is open to any teenage girl who wants to sign up, and there is no cost to attend.

“It’s really hard work to do and complete, especially on an everyday basis, for the most part like actual firefighters do, but it’s still really, really fun,” said 15-year-old Alexis Applegate of Olathe.

Girls and boys ages 14-20 who are interested can also apply for the Fire Explorers program, which runs throughout the year and provides training as well as ride-along opportunities. Several of the girls who took part in Fire HERO Day are in the program and served as peer models as they worked side by side with less experienced girls.

The fire department also runs a training program through Olathe West High School as part of the district’s 21st Century Academies.


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Crews responding to large fire at group home in Arkansas City

KSN – June 14, 2018

Photo by NewsCow

A fire has been reported at a home for the developmentally disabled in Arkansas City.

According to news affiliate, NewsCow, dispatchers made an all-hands-on-deck call for personnel to respond to the fire.

The structure that suffered the fire is at 6th and Maple. Arkansas City fire crews and Winfield fire crews are on the scene.

NewsCow says one person at the scene did require emergency medical attention.


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Wichita firefighters rescue dog trapped under concrete slab

KWCH – June 14, 2018

Photo by Wichita Fire Department

Wichita firefighters came to the rescue of a dog trapped under concrete.

It happened Wednesday night.

As you can see the dog was stuck under a concrete slab.

Crews were able to rescue the dog without it suffering any injuries.

“Aside from being hungry, hot, and thirsty, he was perfectly fine,” said the fire department.


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Four escape house fire in north Hutch

By Michael Stavola
Hutchinson News – June 14, 2018

Four people were alerted by smoke detectors and escaped a house fire early Thursday morning in north Hutchinson, the Hutchinson Fire Department stated.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The HFD responded at 6:18 a.m. to 3302 Thunderbird Drive for a house fire. When firefighters arrived, they found “15 to 20” foot high flames out of a bedroom window on north side of the second floor where firefighters believe the flames started. Reno County EMS treated one person for injuries.

Firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to the attic. However, the bedroom and a bathroom had “extensive” damage and the second floor also had extensive heat and smoke damage.

Three cats were inside the home, the HFD reported. One was able to escape and firefighters are looking for the other two.


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Crews battle wheat stubble field fire south of Wichita

KSN – June 14, 2018

Firefighters are battling a wheat stubble field fire. It is happening on 63rd Street South between Meridian and West Street.

Several units are fighting the fire. Smoke from the fire could be seen from downtown Wichita on our KSN Skyview network.


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Lorraine fire chief recovering from injuries

By Vince Hancock
Ellsworth County Independent Reporter – May 31, 2018
Submitted by Newz Group – June 14, 2018

Lorraine Fire Chief Joe Travnichek is recuperating at home, following a leg injury Thursday, May 24, at the G-Stop gas station in Geneseo.

At about 5:30 p.m., Travnichek was standing on the front bumper of his parked truck and checking fluid levels when an unidentified woman allegedly backed into him. His left leg was trapped between the grill guard of his truck and her rear bumper.

A Call from the I-R to the Rice County Sheriff was not immediately returned.

Travnichek’s wife, Kim, said he will return to Salina Regional Health Center for a full diagnosis in about a week, once the swelling subsides.

Kim, who is also a member of the Lorraine Fire Department, along with their 20-year-old son, said department operations will continue as normal. She said two new members were added about a month ago, increasing the staff levels to about 10. As chief, she said, Joe might instruct firefighters on any future calls by phone or text message, or be driven to the scene for observation purposes.

“(W)e have more than enough personnel to cover me,” added Joe, via Facebook. “Like any other company, if you train your people right and treat them well, they will step up when needed.”


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Rex N. Field

Rex N. Field, 69, of Junction City died at his home on May 29, 2018. Cremation has taken place and a Visitation with family and friends will be 6-8 PM Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home, 203 N. Washington Street, Junction City, KS 66441. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions have been designated to the Vaudene Field Music Scholarship Fund c/o Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home.

Rex was born May 9, 1949, Burwell, NE to Maurice James and Laura (Nelson) Field.

He married Marcia Field in 1976 they later divorced and remained friends until her passing October 13, 2008. Rex married Vaudene (Howell) August 3, 1990 she preceded him in death December 12, 2010. Rex was a firefighter/Emergency Medical Technician with the Junction City Fire Department for over 28 years he retired as a Lieutenant in 2001. Rex was one of the first state certified emergency medical technicians at the Junction City Fire Department. He also worked as an electrician on his days off from the fire department. Rex was a Vietnam Veteran having served in the United States Army. He loved country dancing, hunting, camping, water skiing and spending time with his family and friends. Rex took great pride in being a firefighter, a good country dancer, dad and grandfather. During his retirement, he enjoyed living in the country in the home he built with his wife Vaudene.

He is survived by his son, Brian and wife Rachael of Junction City, KS, daughter, Trisha and her husband Brad Morris of Junction City, KS, step-daughter, Terrah Stroda of Junction City, KS, step-son, Tim Pendarvis of Miami, FL; Four grandchildren, Aidan Field, Reagan Morris, Braedon and Braxton Stroda all Junction City, KS. He is also survived by four sisters and one brother, Tana Field and Jean Snyder both of Kansas City, MO, Mike Field and his wife Denise of TN, Paula King and her husband Ed of Manhattan, KS, Mary Legeret and her husband Tom of TN.

Rex was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Jack Field and his son-in-law, Brandon Stroda.


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Fire department trains on simulator

By Thomas Carver
Cowley Courier Traveler – June 14, 2018

Photos by Thomas Carver

Firefighters and EMS personnel in Cowley County are undergoing training from a mobile facility that simulates real-world events.

The Arkansas City Fire Department has been training with the University of Kansas Fire Service Emergency Driving Simulator starting Monday.

The training concluded Wednesday as all of the emergency personnel trained for every vehicle they operate including, ambulance, fire tanker, fire engine and regular response truck.

The simulator is scheduled to go to Winfield after it undergoes maintenance back in Lawrence following the Ark City exercises.

Mike Cook has been in charge of the simulator since July of 2017 when it was put into service after receiving a national fire grant in order to build this $450,000 mobile facility.

The training facility is a rolling piece of technology with many capabilities. Cook can start simulations using a tablet, change the weather, daytime or night and control the entire situation with a press of a digital button.

Firefighters, emergency crews and even Fire Chief Bobby Wolf learned from the simulated real-world situations. The simulations can be rolled back to the point of failure to make changes to successfully complete the training. The exercise is even equipped with a camera to see what the person in the driver’s seat was doing at the time of playback.

One of the simulations is an accident that occurred in 2017 in Andover, where responders missed the turn off the turnpike traveling to the site. While en route, the ambulance could not make the turn through the emergency turn-around, pulled over in the median, waited for traffic, then tried to make its way back through the median.

The ambulance was struck by a semi-tractor trailer at more than 60 mph. The backend box of the ambulance was separated from the rest of the vehicle but somehow the personnel inside were unscathed.

The trailer has two separate training stations with working switches, knobs and even seats that move according to what is happening.

Most departments in Cowley County have requested the trailer come to their locations for personnel to experience it themselves. This training is not mandatory, but by request of the departments.


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Wichita woman killed in Marion County crash

KWCH – June 14, 2018

A 22-year-old Wichita woman died in a Wednesday afternoon semi crash in Marion County. The Kansas Highway Patrol identifies the woman as Shelbi Kind.

The KHP says the 2000 Chevy pickup driven by Kind was traveling west on US-50 when, for unknown reasons, it crossed the center line into the path of an eastbound semi, resulting in a head-on collision.

The crash was reported about 4:40 p.m.

The KHP says Kind died at the scene. The 56-year-old semi driver from Ohio was not hurt, the KHP reports.


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US-54 closed in Pratt County due to deadly semi crash

KWCH – June 13, 2018

pratt co fire 6142018


The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 2011 Kenworth semi driven by Evaristo S. Mora, 63, Chaparral, NM., was eastbound on US 54.

The semi was approaching some slower moving traffic ahead, made an evasive maneuver to the left to avoid it and collided head-on with a westbound 2003 Volvo semi driven by Patricio Maturino, 36, El Paso, TX.

Maturino was transported to the hospital in Pratt where he died.

A passenger in the Kenworth Arturo Mora, 42, Chaparral, NM., was transported to the Kingman County Hospital where he died.

Evaristo Mora was transported to the hospital in Wichita. All three were properly restrained at the time of the accident, according to the KHP.


The Kansas Highway Patrol and the Pratt County Sheriff’s Office is on the scene of a crash involving semis on US-54.

Trooper Chad Crittenden says around 3:55 p.m. two semis crashed head-on on US-54 around MP 126, southwest of 120th Road.

Crittenden says one fatality has been confirmed.

Two occupants from the second vehicle were taken to the hospital. He did not have an updated on their condition.

The KHP Critical Highway Accident Response Team (CHART) is en route to the scene of the crash. US-54 will be closed for an undetermined amount of time.

The Kansas Department of Transportation is on the scene re-directing traffic.


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Hormel Chili Firehouse Chili Contest

From now until July 16, 2018, firefighters will be encouraged to submit their best chili recipe to for judging. Hormel Foods will select five finalists, one from each major region of the U.S. including North, South, East, West and Midwest. Those finalists will be flown to New York City to compete in a live chili cook-off for a chance to win the grand prize of $10,000 for their station. Judging of recipes will be based on originality, flavor, and inspiration behind each recipe submission. Hormel has partnered once again with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) for the contest, and will make a donation of $20K to the foundation, in addition to contest prizing.

This year, Hormel has tapped Jason George, star of ABC’s new hit show, Station 19, to participate as a guest judge!


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We can’t do this alone

Marysville Advocate – June 13, 2018

When a fire, car crash or other emergency strikes someone in Marshall County, it’s often a crew of volunteers who answer the call for help.

Last week, the Advocate published its annual Senior Living section with this year’s focus on volunteers. Among the stories about countians who step up and offer their time and talents was a feature on Steve and Nancy Gleason. Steve is one of Frankfort’s volunteer firefighters and Nancy is on the town’s volunteer ambulance crew.

Their philosophy is “helping others, who hopefully will someday help us.”

Their comments crystalize what it takes to sustain rural Kansas as a caring, good place to live.

“No one can do this alone,” Nancy told the Advocate. “We have a super fire department and EMS staff and we are proud to be a small part of this great team. Teamwork is what it is all about.”

“Just remember that one day you or our your family will need help and someone needs to answer the call,” she said.

Frankfort’s Fire Department has 33 volunteers and the Frankfort Ambulance Service has 14. It is remarkable, to say the least, how they and other towns across the county maintain similarly committed crews.

Don’t forget to thank them when you have the chance.


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Firefighters battling large fire at scrap yard in East Lawrence

Lawrence Journal World – June 13, 2018

Photo by Sara Shepherd

Firefighters are battling a fire at a scrap-yard business in East Lawrence that sent a large plume of black smoke over the city shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The fire is in the lot of 12th and Haskell Recycling Center, a scrap-metal business at 1006 E. 11th St. The building itself was not on fire, but at least one car in the lot was, as well as a large pile of scrap-metal debris.

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Division Chief Lyle Schwartz said firefighters were dispatched at 10:11 a.m. He said the cause of the fire was not yet known. Firefighters were subduing the bulk of the fire, then would have to dig through to fully extinguish it, Schwartz said.

“It’s going to be a long operation,” he said.

Westar Energy has shut down some power to the area while firefighters work.

No nearby homes or businesses were threatened by the fire and no one was evacuated, Fire Chief Mark Bradford said, though people may want to leave the area to avoid smoke.

To avoid the smoke, it’s best to stay indoors with the air conditioner off until the outside air clears, the city said in a news release Wednesday.


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Fire crews investigating large building fire

KSN – June 13, 2018


Fire crews are investigating what caused a large building fire. It happened in the 1300 block of South Mosley early Wednesday.

Crews were called when a police officer saw a transformer over a building on fire. When fire crews arrived, they found fire on the inside of the building.

The area was surrounded by wooden pallets which caused issues for crews with hoses.

“We fought the fire actually from the exterior just due to excessive storage and then trying to gain access. Once we actually found a vantage point to the building, we were able to pull our hose lines inside and actually put the fire out,” said Chief Tammy Snow, Wichita Fire Department.

Chief Snow says the physical demand of gaining access to the building was the reason for the heavy firefighter presence.

She says it was for their own safety to have extra hands available for the fire.


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FSFD hosts ride to benefit ‘Krazy Kool Carter’

By Jason E. Silvers
Fort Scott Tribune – June 13, 2018

Carter Collier smiles prior to taking a ride aboard Fire Engine 1 Saturday afternoon. Carter got to wear her own fire helmet, which featured the words “Krazy Kool Carter” on the front. Photo by Jason E. Silvers

The 4th annual Fort Scott Fire Department benefit ride took place Saturday to benefit Carter Collier, a Fort Scott youth who was born with a rare disorder called Koolen-de Vries syndrome.

The ride started Saturday afternoon in front of the fire station on National Avenue, went through a few nearby cities and ended in front of Holmtown Pub, where food was served and a live band provided entertainment. Along the route, riders raised money for Carter and her family.

Children who attended were provided with his or her own custom Fort Scott Junior Firefighter T-shirt along with his or her own fire department helmet.

All proceeds from the event go to the Collier family to help with any expenses they incur. Koolen-de Vries syndrome is a rare genetic disorder caused by a deletion of a segment of a chromosome that contains six genes.


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Hiawatha woman dead after car crash

KSNT – June 13, 2018

A Hiawatha woman is dead after a car crash in Brown County.

It happened just before 6 p.m. Tuesday at 220th St. and Plum Tree Rd.

Kansas Highway Patrol said Justin C. Coelho, 29, of Hiawatha was driving west on 220th Rd.

Quentin Overdick, 22, of Hiawatha was headed south on Plum Tree Rd. when Justin Coelho failed to yield the right of way in the intersection and hit Overdick’s car on the driver’s side.

Two passengers were with Justin Coelho: Kami N. Coelho, 28, and a 9-year-old boy, both from Hiawatha.

Kami Coelho died on scene. Everyone else was taken to a local hospital with injuries.


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1 hurt in Manhattan house fire

By Jace Mills
KSNT – June 13, 2018

One person was hurt during a house fire in Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon.

The fire started just after 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday in 2500 block of Meadowood Dr. in Manhattan, according to a release by the Manhattan Fire Department.

When fire crews arrived, they saw smoke coming from the home. The department says the fire started in the basement.

According to the Manhattan Fire Dept., two people were able to escape the home as firefighters were arriving.

One person was taken to the hospital by ambulance. The extent of their injuries is not known.

Firefighters were able to put the fire out in about 20 minutes, according to the release.

16 firefighters and six fire trucks were on the scene. Total estimated damage is roughly $35,000.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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Program gives smoke alarms to those with hearing deficits

By Jamie Willey
Parsons Sun – June 13, 2018

A new program allows hearing-impaired people to receive free smoke alarms that can alert them of fires through strobe lights or a shaking bed.

Mike Womeldorff of Parsons, whose son was born deaf, said he wanted to make the public aware of the alarms offered through a Kansas State Fire Marshal’s program.

“It might save some people’s lives,” Womeldorff said.

Womeldorff was heavily involved in the deaf community and its advocacy as his son grew up. He was on the Kansas Commission of the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing for some time, at one point serving as chairman. He was informed of the fire marshal’s Get Alarmed Kansas program recently by the Olathe School of the Deaf, where his son attended, and was asked to spread the word in the Parsons area.

“I don’t know if the doctors know about it, but I doubt that John Q. Public does,” Womeldorff said.

The state fire marshal has offered regular free smoke alarms through Get Alarmed Kansas since 2014, Kelly Ingold, public education and outreach consultant, said by email. The fire marshal’s office has a goal to have all Kansans protected by working smoke alarms in their homes.

“The majority of home fires happen between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., which is why early detection is so very important. The early warning that a working smoke alarm provides saves lives,” Ingold said.

Smoke alarms, however, do no good for those who can’t hear them, which is why the marshal’s office started giving special alarms to people who are deaf or hard of hearing in 2017. Through Get Alarmed Kansas, hearing-impaired people can receive a strobe smoke alarm and a bedside shaker device that respond to a smoke alarm.

Womeldorff said the new facet of the program sounds like a good idea, and there may be a lot of people who could benefit from it in the Parsons area. While there may not be a lot of deaf people here, there are older people who have hearing loss.

Order forms for the devices can be found at Along with personal information such as address, email address, date of birth and phone number, the forms require a physician, audiologist, nurse practitioner, physicians’ assistant, speech pathologist or vocational rehabilitation counselor to sign the form to confirm a person has hearing loss or is deaf. A potential recipient must be a Kansas resident over the age of 4 and not live in an institutional facility.

If eligible, the fire marshal’s office notifies a local fire department to request it install the devices to ensure they are functioning properly.

Parsons Fire Chief Jay Hawks said his department has installed two devices in town this year.

“It’s a good program. They’re kind of expensive, so I’m glad the fire marshal has decided to offer them. We’ll be happy to install them, but that takes a little pressure off our budget,” Hawks said.

A quick check found that the same bedside clock and alarm that shakes a person’s bed shown on the fire marshal’s website costs about $200 on major retailers’ sites.

Those who aren’t deaf or hard of hearing who need a smoke alarm can contact the fire department that serves their area to see if it participates in Get Alarmed Kansas as the Parsons Fire Department does. Fire departments can order regular smoke alarms themselves to install for homeowners, but the hearing-impaired alarms must be ordered by individuals.

Ingold said all smoke alarms over 10 years old should be replaced. The National Fire Protection Association recommends working smoke alarms in all sleeping rooms, outside of each sleeping area and on each level of a home.

Ingold said the program has distributed more than 4,300 smoke alarms to Kansans since 2014, and more than 260 hearing-impaired devices since adding them last year.


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No one harmed during early morning blaze Monday

Pittsburg Morning Sun – June 13, 2018

A fully involved structure fire left an unoccupied home uninhabitable.

The City of Pittsburg Fire Department responded to a structure fire at approximately 2:19 a.m. on Monday at 419 E. 10th Street.

According to a release, while fire crews were en route, they received notification that the Pittsburg Police Department was already at the scene and the structure was fully involved.

Once the fire crews arrived they fought the blaze for several hours until it was extinguished, the release said.

The house was determined to be unoccupied and no injuries have been reported.
The city officials said the house has sustained “irreparable damage.”

The fire department and the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office are still investigating the cause of the fire at this time.


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Teenager dead after crashing dirt bike into pole

By Stephanie Graflage
FOX 4 – June 13, 2018

A teenager died after crashing his dirt bike into a pole on Tuesday in KCK.

The crash happened near 10th and Rosedale around 2 p.m., according to Terry Zeigler with the KCK Police Department.

Officers on scene said the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet. A release says he lost control as he turned onto South 10th Street and hit the utility pole. Emergency responders took him to a hospital, but he died from his injuries.

His identity still hasn’t been released.


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Concordia officer killed in accident

Concordia Blade Empire – June 12, 2018

concordia 6122018

Officer Marc Henry of the Concordia Police Department was killed in a multi-vehicle accident that occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m. Monday, on the southbound lane of Highway 81, in Ottawa County, at the 178th Mile Marker.

On Tuesday morning the Blade spoke with Lt. Roy Henry of the Kansas Highway Patrol.

“A pedestrian was walking along the southbound 81 Highway in Ottawa County,” Highway Patrolman Henry said. “Vehicles had slowed to avoid striking the pedestrian. A white Kia stopped in the lane of traffic. A motorcycle driven by Marc Henry rear-ended the Kia.”

Marc Henry was transported to the Ottawa County Health Center in Minneapolis, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

The Blade spoke with Ottawa County Sheriff Keith Coleman at 9:43 am on Tuesday morning.

“The pedestrian has been charged with ‘Pedestrian Under The Influence’ and ‘Murder In The Second Degree’,” Coleman said. “The incident is still under investigation.”

Henry, 48, was born in Salina, Kansas. He served in the National Guard in the Army and Marine Corps. He had 20 years of military experience, and served 10 years of active duty.

Before joining the Concordia Police Department in 2012, Henry worked for the Clay Center Police Department and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

“He wanted nothing more than to be a police officer,” said Concordia Police Chief Bruce Johnson. “He helped recruit several of our officers.”

The passing of Henry was especially emotional for Johnson.

“I worked with him on the street in 2012,” he said. “We not only lost a great officer, I lost a great friend.”

An official statement was released this morning by city manager Amy Lange.

“We are deeply saddened at the loss of a great colleague and friend,” Lange said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Marc’s family, friends, and colleagues.”

Henry will be buried at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery will full military honors, conducted by the Kansas National Guard.

The family requests that all guests who attend wear something blue, if possible. In lieu of flowers, the family also requests that donations be made to the Katie O’Connor Animal Shelter, or the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in care of the Chaput-Buoy Funeral Home.


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Fire forces evacuation of Kansas biofuel plant, surrounding area

KAKE – June 12, 2018

Fire crews in southwest Kansas responded Tuesday morning to a fire that forced the evacuation of a biofuel plant and the surrounding area.

The fire was reported at around 11:30 a.m. at EGE Products near Minneola. Firefighters from Ford and Clark counties responded to the fire.

Clark County emergency management reports the fire involved methanol, propane and Roundup. Video from the area shows a large plume of black smoke coming from the plant.

No injuries were reported.

The sheriff’s office said on Facebook that residents within four miles to the west and north of the plant were advised to evacuate “due to the smoke and possible chemicals in the smoke that could be falling in that area.”

“This is a safety precaution. Please be mindful of the wind if it changes direction,” the Facebook post says.


A fire has been extinguished at EGE Product, a biofuel plant northwest of Minneola in Clark County.

Firefighters are still on the scene monitoring the situation.

Emergency crews say two buildings on the property were destroyed and several tanks exploded.

Firefighters from Clark, Ford and Meade counties, Minneola and Englewood all responded to the fire. A foam truck was also used to fight the fire.

A voluntary evacuation was put in place four miles west and four miles north of the plant. Most of the homes were in Ford County.

No was one hurt in the fire.


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