Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Kansas man dies in 3-vehicle motorcycle crash

Hays Post – November 19, 2018

One person died in an accident just after 3p.m. Friday in Montgomery County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 2007 Harley Davidson Motorcycle driven by Nathan L. Lock, 32, Macksville, was southbound on Kansas 99 five miles south of Frankfort.

The motorcycle traveled left of center and side-swiped a 2014 Ford Fusion driven by Katheryn L. Gregerson, 21, Herman, NE., causing Lock to be ejected from the motorcycle.

A northbound 2013 Ford Fusion driven by Laura C. Edelman, 20, Sabetha also struck the motorcycle.

Lock was pronounced dead at the scene and transported to Kinsley Funeral Home. Gregerson and Edelman were not injured.


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John Everett Briggs

John Everett Briggs, of Mankato, Kansas, was born to Floyd and Anna (Heater) Neeper Briggs on April 8, 1943, at Mankato, Kansas. He died November 13, 2018 at the Jewell County Hospital, Mankato, Kansas, at the age of 75 years, 7 months, and 5 days.

John was educated at the Mankato Public Schools and he enlisted in the United States Army. He served at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in the 4th United States Army and was honorable discharged.

John has lived in Clay Center, Nebraska and Harvard, Nebraska. He met Phyllis Gnewuch and they were united in marriage on October 29, 1966 at Harvard, Nebraska. To this union two children were born – John Merle and Susan Marie.

John operated Auto and Wrecker Service in Harvard and was active in the Harvard Fire and Rescue Department. John and Phyllis moved to Mankato and John open Briggs Auto Repair Shop in Mankato. John was active in the Mankato Fire and Rescue Department, and 9 a.m. coffee group in Mankato.

John was preceded in death by his parents – Floyd and Anna; three brothers – John Briggs, Marvin Briggs, and Robert Neeper; and six sisters – Juanita Wince, Ivalee Bush, and Mary Ellen Sykes, Shirley Williamson, Wanda Jean Mauk, and Donna Meier.

He leaves to mourn his death, his wife – Phyllis of the home; son – John Briggs of Mankato; daughter’s – Susan Roush, and fiancé – Robert Parker of Courtland, Kansas, and Lynne Pavelka of Hebron, Nebraska; Susan’s daughters – Danielle Roush and life partner – Brittany Roush of Beatrice, Nebraska, and Jordan Roush and partner – Alex Brown of Shawnee, Kansas; sister – Lenora Jaske, Ponca City, Oklahoma, and brother – George Briggs, Fremont, California; numerous nieces and nephews and a host of other relatives and friends.

Celebration of life service for John Everett Briggs was Monday, November 19, 2018 at 10:30 a.m., at the Mankato Christian Church, Mankato, Kansas, with Pastor Thaddeus Hinkle officiating. Mrs. Pat Grout played the instrumental music, and Pastor Thaddeus Hinkle was the soloist. “Old Rugged Cross” was the solo, and recorded music of “Seven Spanish Angels” by Willie Nelson, and “I’ll Leave This World Loving You” by Ricky Van Shelton. Casket bearers were – Scott Williamson, Charles Williamson, Montie Briggs, Mike Penn, Shannon Meier, Roger Meier, and Robert Parker. Interment was in the Balch Cemetery, Formoso, Kansas, with Military Honors presented by United States Army Honor Guard, Fort Riley, Kansas, and Servicemen and women from Jewell County, Kansas. Escort to the cemetery was provided by Mankato Fire Department Truck No 26 to the cemetery. Memorials may be made to Mankato Fire Department or Jewell County Emergency Medical Services, in care of the funeral Home. Visitation was Sunday, November 18, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with the family receiving friends from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Melby Mortuary, Mankato, Kansas. Online condolences can be left at Melby Mortuary, Mankato, Kansas, was in charge of arrangements.


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Four families displaced after two-alarm apartment fire in Wichita

KSN – November 19, 2018

Firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire at a Wichita apartment complex Saturday morning.

The fire happened at Parke East Townhomes near Woodlawn and Harry around 11:00 a.m.

Authorities said fire crews found heavy smoke when they arrived to the scene. Crews did find flames as they worked through two floors of the apartment complex.

Wichita Fire Captain Neko McBee said four families have been displaced as a result of the fire.

Fire investigators are still working to find out what caused the fire.


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Wichita firefighters complete new search and rescue training

By Sara Berlinger
KSN – November 19, 2018


Firefighters have one of the most dangerous jobs, their training has to be realistic. That’s why the Wichita Fire Department created a new learning experience for all firefighters.

No, there wasn’t a trailer fire in Wichita Friday, but city firefighters got to practice for one, in a staged scenario.

“There is an adult and two children inside, unknown location.,” said one firefighter.

The training is to make sure they’re ready to navigate, during the real deal.

“Once we force that door everything that we hear that we learn, gets challenged,” said Capt. Carlos Rodriguez, Wichita Fire Department.

Firefighters have been practicing search and rescue skills inside this trailer for five weeks. The department uses theater smoke to create a realistic environment, that can test their judgment.

Teams are asked to search for people, as well as a fellow firefighter two emergencies that can happen during a fire.

“When you can’t see it adds a whole other realm of making it more difficult for us to find victims,” said Battalion Chief Kelly Ross, Wichita Fire Department.

They try and do hands-on training several times a year, but with the winter months approaching, they say these exercises are important to do.

“As the cold season approaches, sometimes we do see a spike in fires and we want to make sure that our members are current with their search training,” said Ross.

Members also want to let citizens know, they are ready for the call.

“We want our neighbors to go to bed resting thinking god forbid something bad happens, you have us,” said Rodriguez.

This is the last group to go through the training this time around but they say this prop will definitely be used again in the future.


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Lenexa firefighter facing terminal cancer with support of family, faith and fire crews

By Kera Maskek
FOX 4 – November 17, 2018


Firefighters are used to running to danger. But a 13-year veteran of the Lenexa Fire Department is fighting a whole new kind of battle with Stage 4 cancer.

Mike Wells is just 38 and a married father of three. He’s far too young to face a deadly cancer diagnosis, but with family, faith and the fire service brotherhood behind him, he’s determined to defy the odds.

A fire jacket, hat and boots are tucked away in a locker at the Lenexa Fire Department. It’s gear Mike Wells has proudly worn for over 13 years.

“You know Mike is a highly respected individual in this organization. I don’t know that there`s anybody here who would have anything bad to say about him,” said Travis Vaughn, deputy chief with the Lenexa Fire Department.

For the past few weeks, Wells hasn’t been able to suit up as he faces a whole new fight against cancer that’s invaded his esophagus, liver and lymph nodes.

“We’re devastated, but you know, Michael is so positive. The first thing out of his mouth is, ‘We’re going to beat this,'” said Wells’ wife, Katie Wells.

“I’ve been a fighter my whole life and I’m not going to roll over easy,” Mike Wells said.

His determination is inspiring everyone who knows him to do all they can to help.

“We are all in to let them focus on the fight against this cancer and we’re going to try and eliminate all the distractions we can by being the support,” Vaughn said.

The wealth of support from all walks of their lives and a deep faith has helped them through even the darkest days.

“Faith in God has been what’s able to get us out of bed in the morning and just our support system and just people coming, almost out of the woodwork to want to help us,” Katie Wells said.

“I never thought I’d be on the receiving end of it. You always kind of plan on being on the helping end. It hasn’t been easy, but the amount of support I’ve gotten from those guys has just helped carry me through all that,” Mike Wells said.

Mike’s even picked a unique motto for his fight from a popular movie, “Good Will Hunting,” to “choose the wrench.”

Even with a deck seemingly stacked against them in the fight against cancer, this family knows they have the tools to win an otherwise impossible war.

“To me it just kind of says, I’ll take the worst beating you can give me and I’m going to keep coming back tomorrow and choose the wrench again and again because you’re not going to beat me,” Mike Wells said.

The Lenexa Fire Department is planning a special benefit for the Wells family later this month.

And Dec. 8 from 6-11 p.m., there’s a community fundraiser being held at St. Therese North Good Shepherd Hall. Tickets are $25. The evening will include a fund-a-need program, live and silent auction.

There’s also a bank account where you can help at Community America Credit Union.


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House fire still under investigation

Leavenworth Times – November 16, 2018

A fire that resulted in significant structural damage to a Lansing home remains under investigation, a fire department spokesman said.

The fire was reported at 10:38 p.m. Wednesday at 400 Brookwood St. No injuries were reported.

Todd Farley, chief of Leavenworth County Fire District No. 1, said there was heavy fire damage throughout the two-story house when he arrived on the scene.

He said a family of two adults and two children was residing at the residence. The family members safely made it out of the home.

Farley said the family had pets at the home.

“We did not find any pets inside the house,” Farley said.

The chief said he did not know if the pets had been found Thursday.

In addition to members of Fire District No. 1, crews from the Leavenworth Fire Department and Fairmount Township Fire Department responded to the fire.

Farley said firefighters spent about 1.5 hours extinguishing the fire.

He said the fire caused significant structural damage as well as damage to contents of the home.

The American Red Cross was contacted to provide assistance to the family displaced by the fire.

As firefighters were battling the blaze, neighbors opened their doors to the family to provide them with a warm, safe place to go, Farley said.

Farley said the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office was contacted to assist with the investigation into the cause of the fire.


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First responders train for hazardous material

By Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Globe – November 16, 2018

Training is a constant when it comes to first responders.

Recently, members from Ford County Fire & EMS, Dodge City Fire Department, Sedgwick County Fire Department and Colby Fire Department, participated in a two-week long Hazardous Material Technician course.

The 15 first responders took classes on gas monitoring, radiation monitoring, personal protective equipment, chemistry, hands on training, interpreting different types of toxins found in rail and truck transport, field sampling of unknown chemicals, stopping leaking of high pressure tanks, and lots of studying.

“Once certified these folks will be assigned to a regional hazardous materials team in one of the regions of the state,” Ford County Fire Chief Robert Boyd said. “We currently have a team at Ford County that is part of the State Fire Marshal and this will just complement our team with additional trained technicians.”


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Douglas “Doug” Kent Gwinup

Doug’s life began on November 14, 1948 in Wichita. He is the son of Billy Lee and Kathryn G. (Hale) Gwinup. He is a 1967 graduate of Sedgwick High School and attended trade school for heating and air. Doug was united in marriage to the former Cecelia Creasser on February 16, 1969 in Sedgwick. He worked for the USD 375 school district in maintenance and part time at Butler County Community College. Doug enjoyed watching his grandchildren’s sporting events and was an avid police scanner listener. He served on the Towanda Volunteer Fire Department and the Butler County Sheriff’s auxiliary. Doug was always there to help someone in need. His greatest joy was his family which includes his wife Cecelia of Towanda, children Rhonda Gwinup of Towanda, Patrick Gwinup of Towanda and Chris (Veronica) Gwinup of Wichita; grandchildren Savannah, Blaise, Liam, Rory, and Quinn Gwinup; siblings Judy (Leroy) Richmeier of Wichita, Debra Gwinup of Minnesota and Martin (Kathy) Gwinup of Minnetonka, Minnesota and several nieces and nephews. Doug passed away on November 2, 2018 at the Kansas Medical Center in Andover. His parents precede him in death. His family will gather with friends on Monday at 7 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church (645 N. 119th; Wichita) for a Rosary prayer and again on Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Towanda Cemetery for his graveside service led by Pastor Craig Reynolds. Kirby-Morris Funeral Home is serving the family. Memorial contributions in Doug’s name may be directed to the American Diabetes or American Heart Associations.


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Fire crews quickly knock down house fire in south Wichita

KSN – November 16, 2018

Wichita fire crews responded to a house on fire in south Wichita.

The fire was at a home in the 1700 block of S. Wichita.

When crews arrived to the scene a fire was showing coming from the rear of the house.

Firefighters were able to quickly knock down the fire. Fire officials say the home was empty at the time of the fire and no one was injured.

A fire official on the scene said the structure suffered an estimated $5,000 of damage.

The cause of the fire is not yet known. Fire officials are still investigating.


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Wichita firefighters rappel down Wesley for the kids

KSN – November 16, 2018


If you were driving near Wesley in Wichita on Thursday, you may have noticed some heroic people rappelling down the side of Wesley Thursday afternoon.

Why, you may ask?

It was all part of an initiative to bring a little light into the lives of children in Wesley’s cancer unit.

“We came down to rappel for the kids here at Wesley that are being treated for cancer,” said Corey Lies, Wichita firefighter. “We’re here to just give them a little joy and hopefully bring some smiles to their faces.”

Don’t worry though, these firefighter aren’t rookies when it comes to rappelling down Wesley.

“This is something that we practice on all the time, it seems pretty complicated, but once you do it enough it just becomes second nature and it’s pretty easy for us to do,” explained Lies.

The group said they were happy the weather worked out, and they didn’t have to cancel due to snow.

“The stars aligned,” said Lies. “It was pretty awesome.”


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Job Opening – Recruitment/Firefighter – Johnson County Fire District #1

Recruitment – Firefighter

Fire District #1 -Johnson County proudly serves Gardner, Edgerton, New Century Air Center and 100 square miles of rural southwest Johnson County.  “Our Mission is to protect life and property and enhance the well-being of all that we serve.”

Fire District #1 is currently accepting application for the position of Firefighter/EMT.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Must be 18 years or older and have a High School Diploma or equivalent
  • Firefighter I Certification
  • Firefighter II Certification
  • Kansas Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certification
  • HAZMAT Awareness
  • HAZMAT Operations
  • Candidate Physical Ability Test (CPAT) certification
  • Fire Service Entrance Exam (FSEE) certification with a passing score of 70% or better
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license with a safe driving record
  • The ability to pass a post offer physical and drug screen and background investigation
  • Must be available to work rotating shifts

Work Schedule:

Shift fire personnel work a regular pattern of 24-hour shifts in a 28-day work period (this schedule is often referred to as the “California Berkley Shift”).

If you would like to be considered for a position and hold the requirements, please submit a completed application and resume along with copies of the required certifications to:

Fire District #1 Johnson County

Attn: Administrative Services

490 New Century Parkway

New Century, KS 66031


Applications must be received by December 15 to be considered for this recruitment process.


Fire District #1 offers a competitive salary and excellent benefits package that includes medical, dental, life and vision insurance as well as paid time off, retirement benefits, and wellness incentives.


Fire District #1 is proud to be an EEO employer.  We maintain a drug-free workplace and perform post offer physicals and drug testing.


Please visit our web-site at to learn more about Fire District #1 and to download an application.


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Support Firefighter Kasey Smith Bowling Event

Click to view full-size image


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One injured in Wednesday fire

By Dawson White
Cherokee County News Advocate – November 15, 2018

A fire erupted at a residence in Columbus on Wednesday night, resulting in one person being airlifted to Tulsa.

The Columbus Fire Department responded to a fire at a residence in east Columbus on Wednesday. Deputy Fire Chief Steve Burton said an individual was working on a vehicle in their garage when gasoline spilled onto the floor. A wood stove in the garage caused the gasoline to ignite. The fire spread rapidly, engulfing both the garage and large parts of the home. Burton said the garage was a total loss and that the home suffered substantial damage.

The individual working on the car was airlifted to Tulsa for their injuries. The name of the victim has not been released. No other people were injured in the incident.

Burton said that no nearby homes were damaged and that the fire department contained the fire quickly.

“It was a very quick knock down, within about thirty minutes,” he said.


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Fire damages business

Leavenworth Times – November 15, 2018

A fire at a Leavenworth business resulted in an estimated loss of about $15,000, a fire department official said.

The fire was reported at 2:14 p.m. Tuesday at American Lawn and Fence, 201 Marion St. No injuries were reported.

Mark DeMaranville, division chief of prevention for the Leavenworth Fire Department, said a wood stove was being used to heat the business’ shop. The fire started in the area where the wood stove’s flue exits the building at the roof level.

″(The fire) was contained pretty much to the roof,” DeMaranville said.

He said firefighters had to remove a section of the building’s flat roof to extinguish the fire.

Shawn Kell, health inspector and safety officer for the Leavenworth Fire Department, said the fire was under control within about 10 minutes.


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Training Minutes Video Series

Fire Engineering – November 15, 2018

Body Positioning While Making Horizontal Cuts

Scott Kleinschmidt of the Wichita (KS) Fire Department and Mike Heeney of the Austin (TX) Fire Department review proper body positioning for cutting an overhead door.



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Linwood woman dies in Douglas Co. crash

WIBW – November 15, 2018

Officials have identified the person killed in a wreck west of Lawrence Wednesday afternoon.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says Kimberly Dunivan, 57, of Linwood was killed near the intersection of East 800 Road and US Highway 40 in a crash around 4 p.m.

Authorities said her 2007 Grand Marquis was heading west on US-40 when, for an unknown reason, she left the road, hit an embankment and vaulted over a ditch before coming to rest on the south shoulder.

The cause of the crash is under investigation…

KHP says Dunivan was wearing a seatbelt.


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Generator and furnace responsible for busy day for fire crews

By Juan Cisneros
WIBW – November 15, 2018


A generator is responsible for a fire at a south Topeka home, the latest in a busy day for Topeka fire crews.

Around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, crews responded to a structure fire on southwest Murrow Ct.

According to the fire department, someone was refueling a generator outside while it was turned on.

Firefighters saw smoke and flames coming from the backside of the one story home on Murrow Ct. when they arrived. They attacked and contained it fairly quickly.

A person inside made it out with only minor injuries. Fire officials say the fire created $30,000 worth of damage.

“At least this generator was outside,” Battalion Chief Mark Brannock said. “You got to make sure they’re outside, some people put them in the garage and that’s very dangerous, but it appears that maybe the generator was running when he fueled it.”

A preliminary investigation shows a fire earlier Tuesday at a home on northeast Wabash Avenue was caused by a furnace.

Three people who lived there escaped unhurt, but their family dog died.

Fire officials say it brings a safety reminder as you fire up your furnace for the season.

“Make sure you get them serviced and everything works properly,” Brannock said. “If something is out of the ordinary, don’t hesitate to call the fire department. That’s what we’re here for.”

The fire on Wabash caused $45,000.

Fire officials say no smoke alarms sounded at either home.


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Fire damages laundromat

By Gale Rose
Pratt Tribune – November 14, 2018

Photos by Elaine Ray

A dryer fire caused fire and smoke damage to the 1st Street Laundromat Wednesday morning.

Pratt Fire Chief Dave Kramer said flames from the overheated dryer got into the ceiling and burned the back side of the dryer.

“There was a lot of heat and smoke damage. The plastic lenses on the light fixtures were melted and the dryer was destroyed,” Kramer said.

When firefighters arrived shortly after 8 a.m. there was thick, black smoke coming out of the building. The fire was very hot but confined to the dryer and ceiling immediately above. The fire was inside the dryer drum and burned some towels. The fire was so hot, it melted a ladder sitting behind the dryer.

Smoke from the fire got into the Nex Tech Wireless office and the Shelter Insurance office that share the building with the laundromat.

Pratt firefighters placed fans in the businesses to help clear the smoke, Kramer said.

Fire fighters had the fire knocked down in about five minutes but were on site for about an hour, ventilating the building. Both the gas and electric were shut off to the building for safety. Repairs were immediately under way. The business is closed during repairs and no specific time or date has been set but a sign on the door says “soon.”

No one was injured in the fire.


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Home Total Loss in Monday Night Fire

By Joe Denoyer
KSHB – November 14, 2018

Seward County Fire and Rescue were called out Monday evening at 7:35pm on the reports of a structure fire in the 5000 block of County Road M. Upon arrival, firefighters reported the home was totally engulfed. 6 occupants of the home were able to get out of the structure without any injuries. The home was a total loss. Seward County responded with 13 personnel and were back in service by 11:40pm. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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Fatality accident on U.S. 54; three victims

Pratt Tribune – November 14, 2018

Photo by Ashley Winkler Simmons

Photo by Gale Rose

Photo by Gale Rose

Kansas Highway Patrol Lt. Brent Hemken said there were three victims involved in the head-on collision of two semis on U.S. Highway 54 early Wednesday morning. Both trucks caught fire after impact, burning down to the frames. The highway remains closed.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says a Wednesday morning crash involving two semis killed three people in Kiowa County.

The head-on crash happened about 7 a.m. near milemarker 112 on Highway 54.That crash left the highway closed in both directions for several hours.

On the scene, a lieutenant with the KHP says the three people killed in the crash were the only occupants of the semis involved. He says both trucks caught fire as a result of the crash and burned “almost completely.”

The KHP says further information, including the cause of the crash and the identities of those killed will be confirmed through its crash log


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Sabetha Fire Department celebrates Family Night, Retirements

Sabetha Herald – November 13, 2018

Retired firemen and current firemen gather at the Sabetha Fire Department Family night to celebrate the retirement of Tom Nolte and Ryan Meyer. Pictured, with years served, are FRONT ROW (L-R) Dylan Livengood, 5 years; Lieutenant Bryan Minge, 4 years; Tim Winkler, 5 years; Alan Meyer, 27 years; and Chief Jim Johnson, 43 years; SECOND ROW (L-R) retired Bob Steiner, 45 years; retired Russ Baumgartner, 20 years; retired Bob Baumgartner, 20 years; newly retired Tom Nolte, 35 years; Josh Burger, 9 years; Jason Daharsh, 1 year; Andrew Hartter, 1 year; Matt Popkess, 29 years; newly retired Ryan Meyer, 29 years; and retired Zayne Painter, 21 years; THIRD ROW (L-R) Captain Jason Meyer, 8 years; Grant Meyer, 1 year; and Dave Nonnast, less than a year; BACK ROW (L-R) retired Rob Oom, 20 years; Tracy Rokey (partially hidden), 34 years; Lieutenant Tristan Nichols, 5 years; Assistant Chief Gary Elliott, 21 years; Corbin Knobloch, 1 year; Captain Riley Wells (partially hidden), 5 years; Josh Hartter, 2 years; Jesse Hartter, 3 years; retired Dave Hartter, 29 years; Baylen Edelman, 3 years; and Kevin Wiltz (partially hidden), 19 years. Not pictured is Jacob Hartter, 4 years; Blake Popkess, 4 years; and retired Don Strahm, 35 years.

Ryan Meyer, left, and Tom Nolte retire from the Sabetha Fire Department after a combined 64 years of service. Nolte served 35 years, and Meyer served 29 years.

Sabetha Mayor Doug Clark and City Commissioner Julie Burenheide attend the Sabetha Fire Department Family Night for the retirements of Tom Nolte and Ryan Meyer. The two served for 64 years combined. Pictured are (L-R) Fire Chief Jim Johnson, Tom Nolte, Mayor Doug Clark, Ryan Meyer and Commissioner Julie Burenheide.


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Cub Scouts visit EMS, Fire Department

Sabetha Herald – November 13, 2018

Cub Scouts Pack No. 77, Webelos den, visits the Sabetha Fire Department. Pictured are (FRONT ROW L-R) fireman Bryan Minge, fireman Riley Wells, Jayton Meyer, Nathan Smith, fireman Jason Burger and fireman Jason Meyer; BACK ROW (L-R) Jayce Rebant, James Sallman, Isaac Schmid and Simon Livengood.


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Lawrence City Commission to review funding agreement for fire and medical services

By Rochelle Valverde
Lawrence Journal World – November 13, 2018

Photo by Nick Krug

Discussions will soon begin regarding how much city of Lawrence and Douglas County taxpayers should pay for firefighting and emergency medical services.

City officials have said the current funding agreement for Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical is unfair to city taxpayers. As part of their work session Tuesday, Lawrence city commissioners will review the funding agreement and provide direction to city staff.

Currently, the city pays about 75 percent of the fire-medical department’s budget and the county pays 25 percent, according to a joint resolution between the city and county. The funding agreement has not significantly changed in the 22 years since it was established.

The city and county have various funding agreements, and City Manager Tom Markus said such agreements needed to be reviewed and updated periodically.

“My preference is that we maintain the agreements but that we update them and that we look for a better balance of distribution of costs based on who should be paying what,” Markus said. He said the current funding agreement didn’t reflect the true costs.

The Lawrence Fire Department and the Douglas County Ambulance Service consolidated their services in 1996. The funding allocation established at that time was based on what the city and county had been paying for each service when the consolidation occurred, according to a memo from the fire-medical department to the commission. Under the agreement, the city is supposed to be financially responsible for firefighting within the city limits and the county responsible for emergency medical service in the county, including within the city of Lawrence.

Markus said the 25 percent paid by the county no longer reflected the cost of providing emergency medical services throughout the county.

“The county basically is reimbursing us for what percentage they were paying at the time, without the recognition that things change,” Markus said. “That’s a big concern, and so, finally, we’re able to sit down and start negotiating this.”

The department has 150 employees and a multimillion-dollar annual budget. For this year, the city budgeted about $23 million to pay for the department’s expenses, which include costs for personnel and equipment.

City staff is recommending the commission pursue equitable financial obligations for emergency medical services, which make up 75 percent of the fire-medical department’s service calls. Fire calls make up 23 percent and Coroner Scene Investigator calls 2 percent. Staff is also recommending that the agreement incorporate clear language for capital and equipment costs and review the CSI and technical rescue programs.

Markus said the city wasn’t recommending a specific funding allocation at this point, as he said it would make sense to first start the communication between the city and the county and to understand the county’s counterpoints. He said that, following Tuesday’s meeting, the next step would be for city staff to begin meeting with county staff.

The Lawrence City Commission will convene at 5 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 6 E. Sixth St.


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Three Russell Firefighters Promoted

By David Elliott
KRSL – November 13, 2018

The Russell City Fire Department has promoted Jordan Harrison to Captain, Rick Webb to Lieutenant and Dylan Riedel to Lieutenant.

Also, they have openings, so if you want to join, please contact a firefighter or stop by the City Building and pick up an application.

(Information courtesy Russell City Fire Department.)


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One dead in northwest Sedgwick County crash

KSN – November 13, 2018


One person has died and another person was injured after a crash in northwest Sedgwick County. It happened just after 7:30 a.m. Tuesday near 21st Street North and 167th Street West.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office said a suburban was traveling east when it was struck by a pickup heading west on 21st Street.

Authorities blocked off 21st Street from 167th to 183rd Street as they investigated.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office said icy road conditions could be a factor. They urge drivers to slow down and be cautious.


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Jefferson County standoff ends with suspect burning house down

By Mark Feuerborn
KSNT – November 13, 2018

An Ozawkie man set his house on fire after a fight with his mother and a standoff with local deputies, the Jefferson County Sheriff said.

The sheriff’s office received a report of an argument between a mother and son, possibly suicidal, around 5 p.m. Monday evening at 10927 Arapaho Lane.

When deputies arrived on scene, the son, identified as 37-year-old James Patrick Hutchins, barricaded himself in the house with a knife. After attempts by deputies to talk Hutchins out of the home, the subject started a fire while he and the family pets were inside.

Deputies ran into the burning structure and brought Hutchins out, who began fighting with three of them. He was taken into custody on charges including felony arson, criminal damage, animal cruelty with intent to kill, and three counts of battery on a law enforcement officer.

The burned house was declared a total loss, and the investigation is ongoing.


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House fire in Topeka neighborhood

WIBW – November 13, 2018


Authorities were called to a home in the 1200 block of SW Lincoln just before 5 a.m. Tuesday morning.

Officials tell 13 NEWS the home was vacant at the time, however, they believe the fire may have been started by a squatter who was trying to keep warm.

No injuries have been reported at this time.


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1 person taken to hospital after KCK duplex fire

By Brian Dulle
FOX 4 – November 13, 2018

One person was taken to the hospital Monday morning after a duplex caught fire.

Crews were called to the structure fire near 79th and Corona Ave. just before 8 a.m. When fire crews arrived they could see heavy smoke coming from a garage.

The fire appeared to have started in the basement of the duplex, according to the Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department. Crews fought the fire until it was extinguished and a search was completed of the duplex.

Red Cross was called for four adults and two children. One person was taken to the University of Kansas Medical Center for smoke inhalation.

The estimated amount of damage is reported to be $23,000.

The cause of the fire is under investigation at this time.


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Residential Structure Fire in Liberal at 4 Palo Verde Dr.

By Joe Denoyer
KSCB – November 13, 2018

At 1:58 pm Sunday the Liberal Fire Department was dispatched to 4 Palo Verde Dr. for a report of a stove fire. The first fire unit on scene reported heavy fire from the front windows of a manufactured home and directed incoming units to begin an offensive fire attack. All occupants of the home an adult female and six children were able to safely escape after the fire started and took refuge in a neighboring home. Firefighters were able to make entry and knockdown fire in the kitchen and living room areas of the home. An additional secondary search of the residence was conducted to rule out the presence of any additional occupants or pets. The fire was declared under control at 2:33 pm. Fire personnel remained on scene until 3:41 pm overhauling hot spots and investigating the origin and cause of the fire.

No injuries to any occupants or emergency responders were reported from the fire. However the home is considered a total loss from fire, smoke and water damage. Liberal FD investigators were able to determine the area of origin in the kitchen from statements by the occupants and supporting evidence from fire damage. At this time the fire is believed to be accidental in nature and related to the malfunction of an electric dishwasher. All fire units were cleared from the scene and returned to service at 4:24 pm.

Liberal Fire responded with a total of 14 personnel, two engines and four support and command vehicles. Also assisting at the scene were the Liberal Police Department, Seward County EMS, Southern Pioneer Electric, Black Hills Energy, Liberal Water Department and American Red Cross.


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Woman dead in Overland Park house fire

KSHB – November 13, 2018

Photo by Cat Reid

The Overland Park Fire Department said one woman has died as a result of the fire on Kessler Lane.

A department spokesman said the woman was pulled from the basement of the home and taken to the hospital, but did not survive.

The woman was later identified as Leanora Marks, 67, of Overland Park, Kansas.

Investigators are now working the fire as a fatality.

PREVIOUS — OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — One person was injured Sunday night when fire tore through an Overland Park, Kansas, house.

The Overland Park Fire Department responded to a fire in the 7500 block of Kessler Lane shortly after 9 p.m. and reported thick, black smoke from the roof.

Crews quickly got the fire, which was described as “heavy,” under control then discovered a victim in the basement during a primary search of the house.

The unidentified victim is in critical condition, according to a release from OPFD.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown.


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Car fire ignites Manhattan garage

By Tiernan Shank
WIBW – November 13, 2018

Manhattan fire crews do not know what sparked a car fire in a garage Sunday evening.

The department says firefighters were called to 2300 Vineyard Circle just before 6:30 p.m.

They found a vehicle on fire inside the garage of a two story house.

Within ten minutes they extinguished the vehicle fire but it had spread to the garage.

The only person at home was able to evacuate without injury.

The fire caused over $31,000 in damage.


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Wrong-way crash kills one in Miami County

By Gary Brauer
KSHB – November 13, 2018

One person was killed and two others were injured Sunday morning in a wrong-way crash on U.S. 69 just north of 223rd Street in Miami County.

The Miami County Sheriff’s Office said Jacob Knapp, 29, was traveling south in the northbound lanes shortly before 4 a.m. in a white 2016 Jeep Wrangler.

Knapp’s vehicle crashed into a maroon 2011 Chevrolet Malibu with two passengers the driver, Charlene Crabbe, 44, and Joshua A. Kinsey, 25, of Kansas City, Kansas.

Arriving deputies found Kinsey dead from injuries suffered in the collision.

Crabbe was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Knapp, whose Jeep caught fire, was in stable condition at a local hospital, according to the sheriff’s department.

The crash remains under investigation by the Miami County and Johnson County, Kansas, sheriff’s departments.

First responders from the Louisburg fire and police department, Johnson County Fire District 2 and Miami County EMS also assisted at the scene.


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Kan. woman dead, 1 hospitalized after head-on crash

Hays Post – November 13, 2018

One person died in an accident just after 7p.m. Friday in Linn County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol reported a 1999 Honda Civic driven by Autumn R. Robinett, 43, La Cygne, was westbound on Kansas 152.

The vehicle crossed the center line and struck eastbound 2015 Chrysler 200 driven by Karen K. Clemens, La Cygne head-on.

Robinett was pronounced dead at the scene. Clemens was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident and transported to Overland Park Regional Medical Center. The KHP did not report details on Robinett’s seat belt usage.


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Topeka fire officials: Four apartments sustain major damage in blaze

By Brianna Childers
Topeka Capital Journal – November 13, 2018

Four apartment units at a central Topeka apartment complex sustained major damage in a fire Saturday night, an investigator said.

Firefighters responded about 7:20 p.m. to the blaze at 709 S.W. Tyler St. Heavy smoke and flames were visible when fire crews arrived on scene.

Crews completed a search of the building but found no one inside, said Battalion Chief Dan Macke.

Macke said at the scene that the fire started in one apartment and spread to another.

American Medical Response ambulance service was called to the scene to treat people with smoke inhalation, but no one was taken to a hospital.

Firefighters were able to get the fire under control about 8 p.m.

In a news release, fire investigator Zach Bottenberg said the three-story apartment building contained 18 apartments, and all of the residents self-evacuated safely.

He estimated structural damage at $40,000 and estimated content loss at $10,000.

The fire started in apartment No. 10, Bottenberg said, but its cause remained undetermined pending further investigation.

The American Red Cross was providing assistance to 14 occupants of the apartment building, he said.

Fire officials said some smoke detectors were sounding inside the building. No injuries were reported.

A fire in the 700 block of S.W. Taylor left one person dead and another critically injured Sunday, according to the Topeka Fire Department.

The fire was reported at about 2 p.m. at 722 S.W. Taylor St. Upon arrival, Topeka fire fighters reported heavy smoke coming from the two-story apartment building.

One adult was found dead on the scene, and another was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries.

Michael Martin, Topeka Fire Marshal, said he was unable to verify the fire was what caused the person’s death, and was unable to give further descriptions of the victims.

No smoke detectors had sounded within the apartment, according to information from the fire department.
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One dead in rollover accident in northwest Wichita

KSN – November 13, 2018

One person is dead after a single-car accident early Saturday in northwest Wichita.

It happened just after midnight in the area of 109 Street North and Ridge Road. When the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office arrived, they say they saw a single vehicle resting on its roof in the middle of the street.

Police say the vehicle looked like it had been driving southbound before it went off the roadway.

The 24-year-old driver was the only person in the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The accident is still under investigation. It’s unknown whether speed or alcohol were factors in the accident.


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JCFD promotes new fire marshal

By Mike Sellman
Junction City Daily Union – November 13, 2018

Newly promoted Junction City Fire Marshal David Nelson is presented with a badge. Nelson’s wife, Jill Elizabeth Nelson, pinned the badge on him during Tuesday’s city commission meeting.

The Junction City Fire Department promoted a new fire marshal this week.

Firefighter and advanced emergency medical technician David Nelson was promoted to the fire marshal position, and was presented with a badge during Tuesday’s Junction City Commissioners meeting.

Junction City Fire Chief Terry Johnson told commissioners that the position’s interview process came down to two candidates who both scored highly.

“We have some very qualified people in Junction City,” Johnson said.

With Nelson’s promotion, Johnson said the reorganization of staff at the fire department — which began a year ago — is now complete.

Nelson is a 17-year veteran of the JCFD. He has credentials in computer-aided management of emergency operations, fire and arson fatality fire scene investigations, fire scene reconstruction and fire inspections.

He is also a member of the Junction City Fire Fighters Association, the Junction City Relief Association, the Kansas State Relief Association, the Firefighters Aid Association, and is a commander in the JCFD Honor Guard.

Nelson participates in community efforts, as he is a member of the Geared Up Dads Advisory Committee, a Junction City High School wrestling coach and a Kansas State High School Athletic Association official.


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Shelton named 2018 Fire Chief of the Year

Greater Garden City – November 9, 2018

Garden City Fire Department Chief Allen Shelton, middle, accepts the 2018 Fire Chief of the Year award from President of Kansas State Fire Chiefs Association Pat Collins, left, and KSAFC Ex Officio Brad Smith, right.

Courtesy of the City of Garden City

Garden City Fire Chief Allen Shelton has been named the 2018 Fire Chief of the Year by the Kansas State Association of Fire Chiefs. Shelton received the award during the association’s conference held in Garden City October 26-28.

Shelton has spent his entire 44 year career with the Garden City Fire Department. He began in September 1975 as a volunteer firefighter, was then elected volunteer assistant chief in April 1978 and volunteer fire chief in March 1982. Shelton became the first full-time, paid fire chief of the Garden City Fire Department on February 27, 1984.

During his time as fire chief, the department has grown from one full-time fire chief to a total of 38 paid employees, including three battalion chiefs, a fire marshal, six lieutenants, 26 firefighters and an administrative assistant. The department currently makes use of two stations, and plans are underway for a third station to be opened in 2024.

“Allen is most deserving of this recognition,” City Manager Matt Allen said. “Not only is he deeply committed to the department and the community, but Chief also is committed to the state and national fire chief associations. He shares his knowledge in a way that helps develop his staff and other fire service leaders around the country.”

Shelton has been a member of numerous committees and associations throughout his career, including the Kansas Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators, and the Kansas State Fire Chiefs Association. Shelton has served as a board member and, most recently, as the vice president of the Kansas State Fire Chiefs Association.

Battalion Chief Ken Seirer wrote in his letter of nomination that Shelton has always prioritized firefighter education and training. As one example of this, Seirer noted that the fire department and Garden City Community College teamed up in 2007 to build a training tower used by fire departments throughout southwest Kansas. He also cataloged various training and leadership courses Shelton has encouraged staff to participate in.

“Another top priority for Chief Shelton has always been to provide each firefighter with the best and safest equipment so that they can provide the best service possible to the community,” Seirer wrote.

In addition to his recognition at the Kansas State Association of Fire Chiefs Conference, Shelton was also recognized by the Garden City Commission Tuesday.

“I am proud to see Chief Shelton being honored with this very prestigious award,” Mayor Roy Cessna said. “He has provided outstanding leadership over the many years of service that he has given to the City of Garden City and Finney County.”


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CARSTAR Presents NABC First Responder Emergency Extrication Events in Kansas City

Body Shop Business – November 9, 2018

CARSTAR announced that over 120 first responders from the Kansas City and St. Joe area attended demonstrations offered by CARSTAR on how to extricate people from today’s advanced vehicles.

The National Auto Body Council (NABC) First Responder Emergency Extrication (FREE) training on the latest in technology was offered by three CARSTAR locations in the Kansas City area. Events were hosted in St. Joseph and Smithville, Mo., and Stilwell, Kan., Oct 16-18, 2018.

Fire departments from Kansas City, Mo., and Kansas, St. Joseph, Smithville, Overland Park, Lee’s Summit, Lenexa, Johnson County, Anderson County, Shawnee Heights, Louisburg, Winfield, Rushville, King City, Maryville, Warrensburg, Fishing River and Falls City attended one of the three events.

“Hosting the NABC FREE events are a way for CARSTAR to further serve the Kansas City area,” said Steve Hahn, owner of CARSTAR Metcalf.

Twelve salvage vehicles were donated by State Farm for firefighters to practice “cutting” techniques.

“State Farm is proud to support this program that will help prepare our first responders to handle the emergency situations they’ll face,” said Kevin Gamble, State Farm Community and Media Relations. “We make it our business to help build safer, stronger and better educated communities.”

In crashes where minutes can spell the difference between life and death, first responders to the accident scene need up-to-date information so they can act quickly and safely. Knowing where and how to efficiently cut, pry and extricate can make the difference in saving precious minutes and lives as well as the safety of the first responders.

Keeping first responders up to date on the latest new technology in vehicles is a challenge for every local fire department. The NABC First Responder Emergency Extrication program (FREE) helps first responders stay abreast of the rapid changes in vehicle design. High-strength steel, airbags, advanced restraint systems, onboard technology and safety around alternative fuel vehicles are all covered in the program. The growing popularity of high-voltage hybrid and electric vehicles and the many safety concerns surrounding these vehicles makes this program a necessity. Alternative fuel systems present different challenges when first responders arrive at the scene of an accident. Electric cars, hybrid cars and natural gas vehicles have fuel systems that pose dangers for first responders if the need arises to cut or pry the vehicle for rescue.

Billy Hurt from Alex Air Apparatus was the instructor at all three events. The program displayed key products used to increase the speed at which occupants can be removed safely from damaged vehicles. Hurst Jaws of Life is a rescue equipment manufacturer who has partnered with the NABC.

“Our training and experience in repairing vehicles also translates into knowledge of how to “cut” these vehicles in an emergency scenario,” said CARSTAR Metcalf’s Hahn. “Hurst knows the tools and techniques for extrication. CARSTAR body shops know the vehicles.”


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One person dead after fire at Paxico winery

By Brianna Childers
Topeka Capital Journal – November 9, 2018

Photo by Brianna Childers

Firefighters and Wabaunsee County law enforcement were on the scene Thursday night of a large fire at Wyldewood Cellars Winery in Paxico.

A woman who identified herself as longtime manager of the winery, located at 23633 Grapevine Road, but declined to give her name said a person set themselves on fire outside the front door. The fire spread to the building. The person’s body and a gas can were found near the front door, she said.

The winery closed at 4:30 p.m. because of the winter weather. The fire started about 6 p.m., which is the winery’s normal closing time.

The manager said a person driving past the winery saw the fire and reported it.

Firefighters were expected to remain at the scene for several hours.

The Wabaunsee County Sheriff’s Office and firefighters from at least two Wabaunsee County fire districts and Wamego Fire Department were on scene as of 9:30 p.m. The fire crews continued to spray water on the building.


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Drowsy driving suspected in deadly Saline County crash

KWCH – November 9, 2018

A 44-year-old woman is dead after a rollover crash early Thursday morning in Saline County.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says the car was headed eastbound on I-70 when it left the roadway and crashed.

Stacy Crader of Tipton Missouri died. The driver was taken to the hospital for treatment. No word on the extent of his injuries.

Troopers says the crash may be the result of driver fatigue and was not weather related.

One person was killed in a single-vehicle rollover crash in Saline County early Thursday morning.

The Kansas Highway Patrol says it happened shortly before 4:30 a.m. on I-70 near mile marker 244 (Hedville/Culver exit).

Trooper Ben says the crash is likely due to driver fatigue.


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Shawnee Fire Department to launch online dashboard in push for transparency

By Leah Wankum
Shawnee Mission Post – November 9, 2018

Sal Scarpa, deputy chief of the Shawnee Fire Department, presented updates Oct. 29 on the department’s five-year strategic plan.

In the name of transparency, the Shawnee Fire Department is launching an online platform for residents to see exactly what local firefighters are up to.

Now that the Shawnee Fire Department is halfway through its 2016-2021 strategic plan, feedback from the public has been abundantly clear: Residents want more transparency.

Sal Scarpa, deputy fire chief, said the push for transparency is a direct response to the department’s last collection of public input in 2015, which led to development of the online dashboard.

“We’re not very good at telling our story,” he said. “They wanted to know more. And so this next piece that we’re going to do on the dashboard is a direct response to that.

“We’re hoping that our dashboard provides them a good deal of information about what your department’s doing: Performance measures, response times, number of calls, types of calls. All those types of things will be out there.”

Scarpa said the department staff expects to launch the dashboard sometime during the first quarter of 2019.

The online dashboard will be free to access, open to the public, located on the city’s website and updated monthly. Scarpa gave public presentations Oct. 29 on the strategic plan and showed local residents and city leaders a sneak peek at what the dashboard will look like.

“We wanted to reach back into the community to give them an update on what we’ve done so far and our progress towards our goals and then get feedback on the direction that we’re going,” Scarpa said.

Fire department staff are planning to incorporate public input from the Oct. 29 meetings into its short-term plans for the remainder of the five-year strategic plan, Scarpa added.

“It’s pretty straightforward: We want to give the community an opportunity to have input into our planning process,” he said. “We want to be completely transparent with all of the efforts that we’re undertaking.”

The seven goals of the five-year strategic plan can be found on the city’s website. As of Oct. 29, the fire department has completed two of its seven strategic goals, while the rest are in progress. About 54 percent of the strategic plan is complete, while 15 percent is in process and the remaining 31 percent has not been started.


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Fire protection rating improves

By Phyllis Zorn
Marion County Record – November 8, 2018

Marion’s fire protection rating — a measurement of how well residents are protected from fire — went up this year.

Fire protection ratings are assigned by Insurance Service Office, an independent company that rates a community and its area, city administrator Roger Holter said.

A public protection classification ranging from 1 at the top to 10 at the bottom is used by insurance companies to set the fire risk for properties they insure.

“All insurance companies are supposed to use this as their classification guide to set their rates,” Holter said.

A metropolitan area with direct access to a fire station is rated 1, Holter said.

Marion’s rating notched up from 6 to 5, and residents of the county lake went up to 5 along with them, Holter said. The county park and lake is one of Marion’s direct fire districts, he said. A few of the lake homes are rated 9 because of the distance to a fire hydrant, Holter said.

The large water tower on the east edge of the city holds a half a million gallons.

“We were able to prove the water tower can maintain over 700 gallons a minute,” Holter said.

Holter said getting Marion’s fire protection rating higher took cooperation from several people.

All members of the city fire department became certified with Federal Emergency Management Agency in the past year, which was also a factor in the improved fire protection rating.

The report was created Oct. 18 and officially goes into effect for insurance carriers Feb 1, 2019.

Marion insurance agent Casey Case said some insurance companies won’t cover homes rated 9 for fire protection.

“Most of the companies we represent are rural and include farm insurance,” Case said. “There is a significant change in premium from a class 9 to a class 5.”

Case said homes with a classification changing from 6 to 5 probably won’t see any difference in their insurance rates.


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Program outfits Osawatomie homes with new smoke alarms

By Doug Carder
Miami County Republic – November 7, 2018

Photo by Osawatomie Fire Department

The Osawatomie Volunteer Fire Department and OZFD Wives and Family group recently installed 50 smoke detectors in 13 Osawatomie homes – including a half dozen that had no detectors at all.

The Oct. 28 effort was made possible by the American Red Cross Sound the Alarm program, Osawatomie Fire Chief Brian Love said.

“It’s the first time we’ve done that program,” Love said. “I was real pleased with the results.”

In the past, the fire department has distributed smoke alarms donated by the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office. Love said he likes the Red Cross program because it requires firefighters to install the alarms.

“We handed out the smoke alarms (provided by the state fire marshal) in boxes,” Love said. “The Red Cross program provides the alarms on the condition that firefighters install them, which we like, because there’s no guarantee when you hand someone a smoke alarm in a box that it will actually get installed.”

Loree Love, Red Cross volunteer, said she learned about the Sound the Alarm program three or four months ago during a presentation in Ottawa, she said.

“I wanted to bring that program back to Miami County,” she said.

The husband-and-wife team’s goal of getting smoke alarms to Osawatomie residents was realized when a baker’s dozen signed up for the installation, the Loves said.

“Sometimes it’s difficult to allow a stranger to come into your home, and we really appreciate everyone who opened their homes to us,” Loree Love said. “We had six houses that did not have smoke alarms, which was surprising.”

The American Red Cross recently announced the Sound the Alarm 2018 campaign has led to 122,259 smoke alarms being installed nationwide. The program was established in 2014.

In Osawatomie and the surrounding area, smoke detectors were made available to all residents who are served by the Osawatomie Volunteer Fire Department.

The Loves said this first installation through the Sound the Alarm program was not a one-time project.

“We’re going to be continuing that program, and our plan right now is to do it every six months,” Chief Love said.


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Crews battle early morning garage fire

By Marleah Campbell and Regan Porter
KSNT – November 6, 2018

A blaze at a Shawnee County garage is under investigation after fire crews were called to the scene early Tuesday.

Soldier Township and Rock Creek Township fire crews responded to the blaze at the garage on NE 56th St. near Shaffer Rd just after 2 a.m. Tuesday.

Doug Schmitt, fire chief for Soldier Township, said his crews arrived to the scene and found an RV on fire.

The fire then spread to the garage.

A boat and pickup truck were also severely damaged by the flames.

The owner of the RV said he just had it serviced yesterday and believes it caused the fire.

No one was injured in the fire.

Schmitt says the cause of fire is still under investigation.


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Crews battle fire at vacant house in East Topeka

By Phil Anderson
Topeka Capital Journal – November 6, 2018

Photo by Phil Anderson


Topeka fire crews early Monday afternoon responded to a blaze at a vacant house in East Topeka.

The blaze was reported around 1 p.m. at a one-story, boarded-up house at 1506 S.E. 4th. The location was just east of a bridge that goes over the Shunganunga Creek.

Topeka Fire Department Shift Commander Ty Christian said at the scene that crews arrived to find light smoke showing from the residence.

Firefighters made quick work of the blaze and were ventilating the house of smoke as of 1:30 p.m.

No injuries were reported.

A Topeka Fire Department investigator was being called to the scene to determine the cause of the blaze.


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No injuries in attic fire

Hutchinson News – November 5, 2018

Hutchinson firefighters were able to a contain a fire to the attic of a home and “minimal damage to the exterior” at 309 East 16th, according to a press release.

The Hutchinson Fire Department was called to the home by its occupants around 5 p.m. on Saturday. HFD stated the fire was unintentional and that no one was injured.

The press release does not say how the fire started.


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Fire destroys family home in Meriden

By Nick Viviani and Tiernan Shank
WIBW – November 5, 2018

A Meriden couple escaped their burning home unharmed as an overnight fire destroyed it.

Diana Funk woke up smelling smoke and alerted her husband Cliff, their son Paul told 13 NEWS. He said the couple grabbed the dogs and just made it out of the home.

Soldier Twp. Firefighters arrived around midnight at the house, 2227 NE 74th Street, to put out the blaze, but not before it left the structure “a complete loss,” firefighter Shiloh Burris explained.


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Battle of the Badges benefits Special Olympics

By Kelly Saberi
KSNT – November 5, 2018

The 15th Annual Battle of the Badges took place at Yager Stadium at Washburn University.

The Topeka Police Department, Topeka Fire Department, Kansas Highway Patrol and Shawnee County Sheriff’s Department competed in the flag football competition.

The Topeka Fire Department won this year’s tournament.

The money raised from the event will benefit Special Olympics.


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Two homes damaged by spreading fire in KCK’s Strawberry Hill neighborhood

By Robert A. Cronkleton
Kansas City Star – November 5, 2018

Photo by Keith Myers


Fire severely damaged two houses Sunday in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood in Kansas City, Kan.

No one was injured in the blaze, which was reported shortly before 2 p.m. in the 400 block of Barnett Avenue.

Arriving crews reported seeing heavy smoke and fire coming from both houses and immediately asked for additional firefighters to battle the blaze.

Firefighters searched the houses and reported that no one was inside either home, said Kansas City, Kan., Battalion Chief Don White.

Richart Nastav, who has lived in one of the damaged houses for 55 years, said he was watching the Kansas City Chiefs game on TV when he smelled smoke.

Concerned, he got up and looked outside to see where it was coming from. That’s when he saw flames shooting out of the back of his neighbor’s house. Nastav said he noticed that the fire was spreading to his house.

Nastav got his garden hose and started spraying water on his house to put out the flames. He said he had the flames halfway out when he was told that it wasn’t safe and he had to leave.

The fire was across the street from St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, which was hosting a birthday party at the time. Children at the party came outside to watch the firefighters work.

After the fire was extinguished, firefighters let the kids spray water on their equipment to help clean it off. Some of the children shared cake with the firefighters.

The fire department tries to get out into the community and interact with children whenever they can, White said.

“We don’t want our first interaction with them to be at this kind of situation,” he said. “We want them to know we are their friends.”


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TFD battles four weekend fires

By Tiernan Shank
WIBW – November 5, 2018

The Topeka Fire Department responded to four fires over the weekend, one being suspicious.

The first fire happened around 12:30 a.m. Saturday in an apartment building located at 4420 SW 34th Street. Fire crews say the heavy smoke and flames were accidental and could have been caused by cigarette smoking.

The occupants of apartment #12, where the fire started, escaped without injury. The estimated total dollar loss is $40,000.

On Saturday evening, fire crews responded to 507 NE Paramore Street just after 9 p.m. and found a vacant house on fire. TFD says the cause of the fire was electrical. The house has an estimated $4,500 in damage.

On Sunday, TFD was called to another apartment complex, this time at 5991 SE 22nd Park just after 6:30 a.m.

They extinguished flames coming from a first floor apartment. The occupant was able to get out without injury. Cigarette smoking is to blame for the fire, according to TFD.

Hours later, TFD was called to a vacant house at 1401 SE Washington St. shortly after 8 a.m. They found heavy smoke and flames. They do not know the cause of the fire and say it is suspicious in nature.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
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