WICHITA, Kansas (KWCH) – 6:50 p.m. Update: Wichita firefighters now have a large building fire under control near North 37th Street and hydraulics.
Crews were called to the 2100 block of 37th Street E. around 5:20 p.m. after receiving a 911 call about a fire in a building containing hazardous materials.
Wichita Fire Chief Tammy Snow said first crews on the scene reported multiple explosions. One-gallon propane cylinders were exploding and flying away. A fire was observed outside the building and is believed to have spread inside the building, taking two additional trailers on fire. Firefighters said they needed more help and called for a second and third alarm.
Snow said crews were able to subdue the fire thanks to the wind blowing from the north.
“Well, the factor with the wind is that it was perfect for us. If it had been from the south, blowing, all those propane bottles would have been blown right into the building and then we would have been in trouble. But because the wind was blowing from the north, it blew them across the parking lot into an open field and we were able to douse the grass fires,” the fire chief said.
Snow said about 20 employees inside the building were able to get out safely. EMS checked on an employee who was transferring propane cylinders when the fire broke out. He was not physically injured and refused service.
The fire chief said she did not have a damage estimate or cause of the fire. Shortly before 7 p.m., she said crews would remain at the scene for about an hour to ensure the fire was put out.
The only message she had for the public – “Don’t burn.”
“Just be careful, we were in the process of mitigating a fire on 55th Street, quite a large grass fire on 55th and Ridge Road when this happened. So we’re short on crews today,” said Snow.
6:05 p.m. Update: A heavy emergency response remains at the scene of what started as a 3-alarm building fire near North 37th Street and Hydraulics in northeast Wichita, but there is good news to relay. Crews were able to quickly take control of the situation and prevent the fire from spreading to a nearby row of trees. The fire was accompanied by several explosions and fireballs were visible on one side of the building. A Sedgwick County dispatch supervisor confirmed that a patient reported on the call had a minor injury. No one else was hurt.
The emergency call came in shortly after 5 p.m., reporting a vehicle fire inside the building.
Update: Sedgwick County dispatchers confirm that at least one person was injured after a fire in northeast Wichita. At this point, the severity of the person’s injuries is unknown.
Hazardous materials crews were called to the fire at three alarms near 37th Street and Hydraulics. Several crews remain at the scene, but looking at a Skycam view from Eyewitness News, it appears that the crews have the fire under control.
Wichita firefighters are at the scene of a large fire in the 2100 block of E. 37th St.
Firefighters raised three alarms on the fire. Crews closed traffic at 37th and hydraulics.
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