Gas line explosion possible cause of 3-alarm apartment fire

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – A possible cause of Tuesday’s three-alarm apartment fire at the Metcalf 56 complex may have been determined by fire investigators Wednesday.

RELATED: Several injured in three-alarm apartment fire

Jason Rhodes of the Overland Park Fire Department said a possible gas line explosion could have been the cause of the blaze which erupted around noon on Tuesday.

"They believe that that gas line that was turned on yesterday fed some fireplaces in the apartment complex, and that gas from that line somehow found its way to an ignition source in a furnace in one of the apartments, and caused an explosion and a fire," said Rhodes.

Initially investigators were not able to enter the building, located in the 5600 block of Floyd, because it had not been deemed safe enough for anyone to enter.

“Looks like they’re going to possibly finish their investigation today, sooner than they thought, things are going pretty quickly," said Rhodes on Wednesday. "They were able to shore things up get inside, take pictures, and get a good look."

Approximately thirty apartment units were affected by the smoke and fire. The American Red Cross aided in helping the residents who were left without a place to stay.

Alex Manley, who lives two buildings down from where the fire took place, did not have damage to her apartment, although she was forced to move out of her unit for safety reasons.

“We have been allowed to go back inside and just get the necessitates, you know for like a couple days,” said Manley.

A man who had been badly burned in the fire and transported to an area hospital in critical condition on Tuesday, was listed in stable condition on Wednesday.

Earlier coverage:

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