Fire rips through Overland Park apartment complex, spreads to nearby homes

KMBC – March 21, 2017


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A massive fire broke out at an apartment complex under construction in Overland Park on Monday afternoon. Several nearby homes also caught fire.


The 8-alarm fire at the Royale Apartments at CityPlace along U.S. 69 and College Boulevard was reported at 3:30 p.m. One building was destroyed by the fire in a matter of minutes, while another building was badly damaged.


Multiple homes near the apartments were also on fire. Fire crews said at least 17 homes were damaged by flames and smoke. Embers from the huge fire flew into the air, sparking more fires on the roofs of several homes.


"It looks like a war zone," said Jason Rhodes, Overland Park Fire Department spokesman.


Three firefighters were taken to hospitals for issues related to fighting the fire. All three are reported to be in fair condition.


The Overland Park Fire Department received mutual aid from its Johnson County, Kansas partners, as well as the Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department, the Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department, and the Lawrence, Kansas Fire Department.


Of the three firefighters transported, all were from different departments.


Authorities remain at CityPlace apartments pouring water on hot spots. All residential fires were put out.


Fire crews said they will be on scene for a "significant" period of time - up to the next 24 hours to monitor the situations. The concern at this time is some fires may not have shown themselves.


Neighbors are urged to be vigilant, and to keep an eye on their property and surrounding properties.


The Red Cross and Salvation Army are working to help those displaced by these fires.


Police have established a perimeter around the neighborhoods involved. Only residents who live or are supposed to be in the area will be allowed in.


Block Real Estate said they have made lodging arrangements for those affected by these fires. Royale at CityPlace residents, and residents from the surrounding neighborhoods that need lodging can go to the Christ Lutheran Church at 117th and Nieman or the CityPlace Command Center in the lobby of the Drury Inn and Suites in Overland Park (10963 Metcalf Ave.) for help.


The developer of CityPlace issued this statement at 5:30 p.m.:


"Our main concern is for all of those impacted by the fire, and for the safety of the firefighters and homeowners who are doing all they can to salvage surrounding homes.


As of this hour, we have not been informed of any injuries at the CityPlace development, but we are still attempting to contact those who were working at the site today. The development is under construction.


We are extremely grateful to all of the fire departments who answered the call, and for their heroic efforts. Our thoughts and concerns remain with those who are directly impacted by this event."