Fiery crash leaves one dead, copper theft led to delayed KCFD response

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Police are investigating after a car wreck and fire early Saturday morning left one person dead, and the Kansas City Missouri Fire Department says that a copper theft may have caused a delay in their response to the scene.

According to authorities, the car crashed and burst into flames near the intersection of Scarritt and North Hardesty shortly before 3:00 a.m. on Saturday morning. Kansas City Missouri Police say that there were three people inside the vehicle—two people escaped the burning vehicle, but police say that the driver of the vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene.

One passenger in the vehicle was taken to an area hospital with severe burns, while the other passenger sustained just minor injuries.

There is no word on the identity of the victim or the other two people in the vehicle. Police say that the crash remains under investigation, but they suspect that speed was a factor in the wreck.

In a release on Saturday evening, the Kansas City Fire Department said that firefighters responded to the crash about five minutes later than expected. According to officials, KCFD Communications attempted to contact Fire Station 23, located at Independence Avenue and Van Brunt, as well as a nearby ambulance crew to have them respond to the call, but were unable to contact the station. Fire crews were eventually alerted to the wreck by cell phone.

Officials say that an investigation into the failure of the system led to the discovery of a copper theft of AT&T lines outside of city-owned facilities. In their release, officials said that the problem was isolated to Fire Station 23.

Authorities are investigating the copper theft to try and determine when it occurred, and who was responsible.

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