Fire destroys Overland Park apartment complex

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- As a fast-moving fire consumed an apartment building in Overland Park, Kan., Wednesday morning, residents pounded on doors to get everyone out safely.  The fire started around 2 a.m. and destroyed eight units at the Aspen Lodge Apartments at 10220 West 81st Terrace.

“I woke up to someone banging on my windows and doors,” said Micah Dee, who is hearing impaired.  “They told me they banged on my windows for a long time.  Eventually I woke up so I have them to thank for that.”

Dee lives on the first floor, and he grabbed his hearing aid and phone before running outside.  He said the fire engulfed the roof within minutes, causing it to fall.

“It went fast.  Wooden shingles.  It didn’t take very long at all.  It just picked up and the whole upper floor was gone,” Dee said.  He is grateful his daughter was with her mother last night, but he is saddened that the fire destroyed “all of her pictures, her first everything, clothes, shoes, stuff we brought her home in.  It’s all gone.”

When Overland Park firefighters arrived, they did two sweeps inside the building to make sure everyone escaped safely.  Fighting this intense fire may have caused one Overland Park firefighter to collapse by a fire truck.  Officials say it was a medical issue, and he was awake and talking when he left by ambulance.

According to the Red Cross, a total of 15 people – two of them children – were displaced.  They are providing clothes and food for all of them.  Because Aspen Lodge officials require all tenants carry renter’s insurance, the victims should all be reimbursed for the items they lost in the fire

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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