OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Two photos taken from surveillance footage at the CityPlace apartment complex Monday afternoon are circulating online and raising questions about the cause of Monday's devastating fire that completely destroyed one apartment complex and caused extensive damage to another, and resulted in 25 surrounding homes suffering fire damage. At least eight homes were a total loss.
The photos appeared on the website of a company called OxBlue, a surveillance security service that focuses exclusively on monitoring construction sites.
The photos show what appears to be someone at the construction site with a gray or silver pickup truck carrying mobile welding equipment. That photo is timestamped at 3 p.m.
In another photo at the same scene, taken at 3:27 p.m., the person and the truck are gone, but now a small fire burns at that location.
Nearby residents reported hearing a large boom and seeing smoke at almost that exact time. Fire investigators cited the time of the fire as approximately 3:30 p.m. in a news conference Tuesday morning.
Investigators said that they are aware of the photos, but would not comment further.
A source close to the investigation told FOX 4 that the welder was supposed to be there, and that he was tasked with welding metal plates.
FOX 4 viewed these photos, which were publicly available on OxBlue's website around 9:30 a.m.,Tuesday, but by approximately 10:15 a.m., those photos were no longer accessible and visitors to the website were sent to a login page.
In a news conference Tuesday morning, Overland Park Fire Chief Bryan Dehner said investigators with the Overland Park Fire Department, Kansas Fire Marshall's office, and ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives) were on the scene, but he could not comment on the direction of their investigation.
"They have their theories and they're working their process and we're not in a position to give that information out now," said Overland Park Fire Chief Bryan Dehner. "The investigations are going on and police have a perimeter for the residential area. That is an active crime scene. Those that live in the area and have reason to be in that area are allowed to be in that area."
Dehner wanted to make clear to the public what the term 'crime scene' means.
"I don't want anyone to think that we have a, we're out looking for a firebug or anything like that. That is not the case," said Dehner.
He and ATF spokesperson John Ham emphasized that the term 'crime scene' simply means that police have established an area that they patrol to keep people safe and protect their belongings, while also allowing investigators to do what they need to.
When asked about the 'boom' or explosion neighbors heard, Dehner said it was his understanding that the explosion was a result of the fire, not the cause.
Tuesday morning, fire crews were still working on putting out hotspots and investigators are still working to determine the cause of the fire.