OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Two children are dead and six others were injured in an early morning apartment fire Tuesday.
It was around 2:30 a.m. when the fire broke out at Colonial Gardens Apartment Complex near 88th and Broadmoor Street. The fire quickly became a two-alarm fire when responding units heard reports that people were trapped.
The first units on the scene were greeted by several burn patients along with heavy smoke and fire coming from the front and back of the two-story apartment building.
Paramedics began treating the burn patients, while firefighters began an aggressive search and fire attack.
Once inside, firefighters found two children dead. Their names and ages have not yet been released. Their mother was taken to the hospital with minor burns and smoke inhalation.
In addition to the children’s mother, two men who jumped from the top floor and sustained severe burns and injuries, were taken to the hospital along with one more who had minor burns.
Two firefighters were treated for heat-related issues. One was treated at the scene of the fire. The second was transported the hospital but is listed in good condition.
Firefighters initially said seven additional people sustained minor injuries. They have since said six people sustained non life-threatening injuries.
The battalion chief on the scene said it will take investigators some time to determine what sparked the fire. Fire investigators are also still working to determine where the fire started.
“The guys worked hard and they took their lumps,” Overland Park Fire Chief Bryan Dehner. “I mean this is kind of those calls that we kind of work without any safeties on… So guys extending themselves. We had a lot of building to search, a lot of people to do it, but it took its toll on some folks, and we’re just going to treat them to make sure they’re okay.
The fire chief said there were no working smoke detectors or a sprinkler system.
Four units were damaged by the fire, but firefighters evacuated all of the building’s 12 units until building safety inspectors can evaluate the structure. The Red Cross is on the scene and assisting 15 to 20 residents with lodging.