A two-alarm fire significantly damaged 12 out of 18 units in an Overland Park apartment building Friday afternoon.
The blaze is believed to have begun with an electric stove that had been recently repaired.
There were no reported injuries, but more than 40 people were displaced in the fire at the Antioch Woods apartments at 106th Terrace and Antioch Road. The American Red Cross was assisting them.
“We have nothing,” said Tiffany Senior, whose apartment was next door to where the fire started. “I have a 1-year-old, a 6-year-old and a 15-year-old, and we have nothing. It’s going to be real hard.”
Senior believes fire crews waited too long after arriving before they started shooting water on the fire from aerial trucks. But Overland Park Fire Department Battalion Chief Brian Redelsheimer said crews were initially using a hand line inside the structure and the aerial hoses would have pushed material in on those firefighters.
The fire was reported shortly before 4 p.m. Deputy Fire Chief Mike Casey said the fire was in the westernmost building of the apartment complex near Interstate 435. The fire, in an upper-level unit, was knocked down, but flames escaped into the attic and the mansard roof, spreading past one of two firewalls.
Crews then had to leave the building and attack the fire from the exterior.
Senior said her neighbor had complained that his stove had not been working and that he had to put out fires before. She said the neighbor told her that he could not control this one.
Overland Park Fire Marshal Mike Sweany said the stove had been repaired Wednesday and officials would review that paperwork.