Fire on Southwest Boulevard impacts surrounding businesses

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KANSAS CITY -- The warehouse fire closed Southwest Boulevard and shut down surrounding businesses overnight.

Many who earn their living nearby are relieved Wednesday to see the fire department reopen the area to traffic again.

The fire department determined that any collapse risk to the remaining structure is on the south side of the building, so all of the different businesses along Southwest Boulevard are being allowed to resume normal operations.

That's good for popular Mexican restaurants, like El Patron next door to the warehouse and Margaritas nearby.

They were forced to close before 5 p.m. on one of their busiest days of the week, Taco Tuesday, a day these eateries usually draw big crowds

Neighbors say reopening Southwest Boulevard to customers was their top priority.

"It’s one of the main thoroughfares to get to downtown Kansas City," said Dave Quirarte, owner of Margaritas. "Plus we have a concert tonight at the Sprint Center and we are one of the main stopping grounds before people go to the Sprint Center, to have a little refreshments and bite to eat before they go to the concert."

Quirarte was concerned that a refueling station near the fire could result in a bigger blaze, but he says firefighters did a remarkable job protecting surrounding property.

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has two fire investigators on the scene trying to narrow down a likely cause. So far, the ATF says there's nothing to indicate anything suspicious about the fire.

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