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Plaza apartment residents still without power after underground fire

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Power crews are still working to turn the lights back on at one Plaza apartment building.

An electrical fire in some equipment by the Hemingway Plaza apartments caught fire around 7 a.m. Sunday morning on 48th Street, south of Brush Creek.

That caused a power outage in both the Hemingway Plaza apartments and the neighboring St. Regis apartments.

“I was just trying to sleep in,” said Wayne Moots. “And all of the sudden, I woke up to this big bang.”

That bang also knocked out Claire Hervieux’s power. “We thought the light bulb was broken” she said. “We went to go fix it, and realized that none of the power was on.”

A fire at a Plaza apartment building left hundreds without power.

The electrical fire in the underground equipment forced fire fighters to attack the situation with different tactics. They sprayed water on the building exterior, the parked cars in the area, and the trees. For the equipment itself, they smothered the oxygen with carbon dioxide, according to a Kansas City Power and Light crew there on the scene.

But, says the Kansas City Fire Department, crews arrived expecting the worst.

“Anytime you have a high rise fire in an occupied building, it’s a concern,” said Chief Paul Berardi. “In route, we were hearing people trapped on elevators.”

Berardi continued, “it turned out to be other buildings because the power effected other buildings in the area.”

“Good thing that nobody was hurt,” said Hervieux.

Moots took the opportunity to go spend the day outside. “There are bigger problems in the world. So at the end of the day, I don't think it's that big of a problem.”