A cigarette discarded into a plastic planter on a second-floor balcony is believed to have sparked a two-alarm blaze that destroyed an Overland Park apartment building early Wednesday.
The fire, which ignited around 2 a.m., quickly spread from the balcony to the wooden roof and then to the rest of the building at the Aspen Lodge Apartments in the 10200 block of West 81st Terrace.
Firefighters helped evacuate residents from the burning building, including one person who escaped just before the roof collapsed.
Firefighters from Overland Park, Merriam and Lenexa fought the fire. The first units arriving on the scene saw heavy smoke and fire coming from the roof, according to a release from Jason Rhodes, media manager with the Overland Park Fire Department.
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The fire displaced residents in 16 apartment units.
One Overland Park firefighter was taken to a hospital for treatment of a minor medical issue. No other injuries were reported.
It was the second fire this week in Overland Park that was caused by careless smoking.
James Arthur Stoker, 74, of Overland Park died Monday when a fire broke out in his condo in the 7600 block of West 59th Terrace in Overland Park.