Firefighters battled a fire involving at least two transformers Sunday morning near the Hemingway Plaza condominiums just south of the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City.
Shortly before 8 a.m., there were three explosions in the 100 block of West 48th Street, according to Kansas City Fire Chief Paul Berardi.
Arriving firefighters found heavy black smoke coming from grates on the sidewalk behind the Hemingway Plaza building at 229 Ward Parkway.
“The incident commander made the decision to evacuate the structure in case the fire was inside,” Berardi said. “We made entry into the basement, and there was no smoke or fire inside the building.”
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Firefighters went floor to floor to continue the evacuation. Three residents were sheltered in place and were assisted by firefighters, family and property management.
“We assumed there were transformers involved, so we knew we didn’t want to put water on the fire,” Berardi said. “We had to protect the building and several vehicles that were close to being impinged by flames.”
Crews from KCP&L isolated and cut the power to the two underground transformers. Firefighters then extinguished the fire using carbon dioxide extinguishers.
KCP&L was bringing in additional crews to restore power. At least two buildings, the Hemingway and St. Regis at 121 Ward Parkway, were affected by the fire. An estimated time when the power would be restored was not available.
No injuries were reported.
At the same time firefighters were fighting the transformer fire, they had to rescue people who were trapped in elevators in adjacent buildings, including three people at the nearby Raphael Hotel.