Residents at KCK apartment complex claim buildings didn’t have working smoke alarms at time of fire

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KANSAS CITY, Kan. --  A fire at the Rosedale Towers Apartments displaced at least a dozen people early Wednesday morning.

Firefighters were dispatched to the complex near 39th and Adams just after 1:30 a.m. The complex is near the KU Medical Center.

When they arrived there was heavy smoke on the second floor. They were able to quickly stop the fire,  which started in a second floor apartment.

There are 144 apartments in the complex. All residents were evacuated. 12 units have heavy smoke and water damage. The Red Cross is helping the nine residents  of those units with a hotel room and clothing.

Rosedale Towers was at full capacity when the alarm sounded early Wednesday morning while most of the residents were asleep. But everyone got out okay, and no one was hurt.

Some residents told FOX 4 that they didn't hear any alarms go off.

The Kansas City, Kan., fire department says a new system was just installed Wednesday and it did go off, but overnight there were three false alarms. As a result, people didn't pay that much attention when they did sound off.

One resident, Peggy Simpson, showed FOX 4's Kathy Quinn a photo and said that the photo featured the complex's smoke alarms still in the box. That resident says it's been two months since they've had a working alarm.

"We as a council have been trying to find out why it's taking so long so we don't have any answers," Simpson said.

A spokesperson for the fire department says the department is talking to the housing authority about holding regular fire drills.

"They come knocking on my door real loud, twice, and I figured something was up so I got my clothes on and I got out," fifth floor resident Donald Parish said.

As of 6:30 a.m., all the resident except for those who were displaced were allowed to return to their apartments.

The cause of the fire was accidental.