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Welder Sparked Fire at Kansas Apartment Construction Site

No fire deterrents installed at site allowed blaze to spread to 25 neaby homes

March 23, 2017

The Kansas City Star reports that a welder accidently ignited wood building materials while working on the construction site a four-story apartment building in Overland Park, Kan., earlier this week. The multimillion dollar CityPlace development is located at the southeast corner of College Boulevard and Nieman Road.

Investigators said the fire broke out around 3:30 p.m. Witnesses reported hearing an explosion. Overland Park Fire Chief Bryan Dehner said the building where the fire started was "most vulnerable" when the fire happened because it was so early in the construction process that it lacked fire deterrents such as a sprinkler system.

The eight-alarm fire became even more devastating as steady winds blew burning debris onto nearby houses, igniting the homes' wood shingle roofs. While nobody died or was seriously injured in the fire, about two dozen homes were ruined.

The fire burned so hot it blistered paint and melted lights on Overland Park ladder truck Q-42. Equipment inside other trucks melted from the intense heat.

The construction company working on the project, Titan Built LLC, released a statement saying, “Titan Built has meticulous safety protocols in place; in our 42 year history, we have never experienced an incident such as this,” the statement said. “We are closely working with the fire department and actively participating in the investigation to determine the cause, all toward implementing preventative processes in the future.”

Source: Kansas City Star

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