KCPD assessing how fire at evidence building will impact its investigations

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Kansas City police evidence building is now evidence itself after a fire caused heavy damage to it on Thursday morning.

KCPD says the items stored inside the facility date back to the 1970s. Some items are considered evidence - while others are property recovered from crime scenes. Police say it'll take weeks before they know exactly what was destroyed and if it could impact any investigations.

"Because of the nature of the items that are housed here, we treated like a crime scene to ensure the integrity of all of the items that are present there," KCPD Sergeant Jake Becchina said Thursday afternoon.

Investigators from both the Kansas City police and fire departments spent all day looking through charred shelves and damaged property kept at the North Kansas City storage facility.

"It's a large amount of property so there's going to be a long time before they are able to say one way or another whether it was in fact related to a pending case, closed case, so on and so forth," Sgt. Becchina said.

Police say no one was hurt and only a small number of shelves were damaged by either the fire itself or water from the sprinkler system or fire fighters on the scene.

"It could be theoretically very important depending on what we determine was affected. There's no way to know at this point it could be days or weeks before they determine exactly what was in there," Sgt. Becchina said.

Police say there are no obvious signs of foul play, and will work with families to get their stored property back to them as quickly as they can.

"We are going to take tireless efforts to go through all of this material that's in here and ensure the integrity of all of it. Everything that's not damaged, we will take the time to get it back to people, it just may take a little more time than normal," Sgt. Becchina said.

FOX4 is told the items from the affected area of the facility are being inventoried. Investigators say there is no timeline on how long that process will take.

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