Man says coal project sparked fire that consumed KC building on Prospect

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Thursday afternoon fire sent a firefighter to the hospital, and a man inside the building told FOX 4 how the flames started. Crews eventually extinguished the fire at 8th and Prospect at about 5 p.m., after getting the emergency call shortly after 4 p.m.

A firefighter slipped down a wet set of stairs and injured his ankle, but is expected to be okay. Firefighters say the blaze began on a back deck. Randy Sumpter told FOX 4 he's in the construction industry, but is a hobbyist who makes wood and metal art, and was making coal for an art project when the fire began.

"Working on a project, I forge metal in my spare time. I was making some hardwood coal, there was a gas can kind of close, it caught on fire. I went to toss it out of the way over the deck. It hit a pallet and went up in flames," said Sumpter.

Sumpter says he owns a property management company on the first floor of the building that his fiance runs. A number of employees were in the building, but managed to escape.


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