Antique collector loses everything in KCK warehouse fire

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- An out of control fire ripped through a warehouse in Kansas City, Kansas on Saturday afternoon with a plume of smoke that could be seen across the metro.

It happened around 1:30 p.m. near the intersection of North 10th Street and Splitlog Ave., just north of Central Ave.

The building was a storage warehouse for several small businesses including Anthony Reysik who has been collecting antiques for the past six years. But Saturday he watched all his work go up in smoke.

"I just lost everything," Reysik said.

Reysik says he buys and sells items he collects that were kept in about eight units of the warehouse.

"A little bit of everything," Reysik said. "Tractors, cars, stairs, all kinds of boxes filled with fine art, all kinds of ceramics, porcelain, brass statues, all kinds of record players, stereos, computers. You name it."

Everything changed when he got a text message telling him the building was on fire, and when he arrived at the building he watched it all turn to ash.

"We went into attack mode to attack the fire on the inside, but unfortunately it spread to an adjacent connected building, and the roof started collapsing, so we went to a defensive fight tactic," said Assistant KCK Fire Chief, Morris Letcher.

The warehouse used to be a building owned and used by the KCK school district, now it's owned by Doug Spangler. He's been a property owner in town for more than 50 years.

"You feel like someone kicked you in the stomach," Spangler said. "It's property, and it's business but it's people's lives, and that makes it very upsetting."

Fire officials say no one was injured in the blaze, but it was difficult to put out, because may items in the building were highly flammable.

"Anytime you have combustibles in the building it can happen bad," Letcher said. "You don't want the fire to spread to other buildings in the close vicinity of it so you do your best to keep that from happening."

"There's no insurance on the building. Insurance in this type of facility is too costly to buy," Spangler said. "Some of the tenants have insurance, but I haven't waded into that yet, so that`s what makes it more demoralizing."

Raysik says he didn't have insurance either, and will wait to find out the cause of the fire, but says he needs to know what happened.

"I want to know what happened here," Raysik said. "This was everything I had. All my plans just went up in smoke."

The cause of the fire is under investigation, and as the sun set crews were still working to make sure all of the hot spots were under control and put out.

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