ATF, US marshals investigating after fire at Bob Dole federal courthouse in KCK


KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Federal officials are investigating after a fire Tuesday night at the Robert J. Dole U.S. Courthouse in Kansas City, Kansas.

The KCK Fire Department said around 8:40 p.m. a police officer driving by the area noticed smoke coming from the south side of the building, which is located at North Fifth Street and State Avenue.

When fire crews arrived and entered the building, the discovered the fire was actually in between two floors, which KCK Deputy Fire Chief John Droppelmann said made it difficult to access.

After about two hours, crews were able to fully extinguish the fire, and fortunately, no one was inside the building. No fire crews were injured.

Droppelmann said it will be several hours before they can safely go into the damaged area of the building because of high levels of carbon monoxide. They are working to ventilate the building, but with few windows that can be opened for security reasons, it will take a while, he said.

Droppelmann, who also acts as KCK fire marshal, said because the courthouse is a federal building, he notified the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshals Service, which has offices in the courthouse. The agencies are now on scene to lead the investigation.

An initial investigation does not show any point of entry to suspect someone set the fire, but officials are looking at security camera footage to learn more.

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