Grease fire at Smithville apartment building leaves 14 people looking for a place to stay

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SMITHVILLE, Mo. -- Fire crews in Smithville determined an early morning fire that left two seriously injured was the result of a grease fire that started in one of the apartments.

Fire chief Dave Cline with Smithville Fire Department said they got the call around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday that reported a fire at Hillside Estates in the 500 block of 169 Highway.

The police department arrived on the scene before fire crews and helped get people out of the complex.

Once firefighters arrived at the scene they were able to save a second building from the fire, but the building where the fire started was left heavily damaged.

The building did not have sprinklers inside because according to the fire chief it was built before fire code require buildings to have sprinklers. The chief did say that the building had working smoke alarms, which helped occupants get out of the building.

The fire caused 169 Highway in both directions to shut down for almost four hours. The north side was closed at 180th and 169 Highway.  The south side was closed at KK highway.

A fire caused both sides of 169 Highway to shut down while crews work to put out flames in Smithville.

A fire caused both sides of 169 Highway to shut down while crews work to put out flames in Smithville.

According to the fire chief, two people were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The victims are described as adults with bad burns. Fire crews on the scene said one of the victims was a woman who was inside of the apartment where the grease fire started. She had burns to her hands and feet.

"It appears through investigation that she carried the pan out into the breezeway, which I think led to some of her burn injuries, but it also caused that fire to spread quickly through that breeze area then through the rest of the building," chief Cline said.

At least 14 people, including the two that were burned, were forced from their apartment due to the fire. The burned building had 12 apartments. The Red Cross is on the scene helping those who were displaced.

There is no word on the cost of the damage.