Northeast Wichita Business Fire Under Investigation

By: KAKE News Email
By: KAKE News Email

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UPDATE: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Investigators may not be able to pinpoint a cause to a fire that heavily damaged a northeast Wichita business.

The fire started at the Viking Corporation, a cleaning supply manufacture company at 3810 North Tobin Street, just before 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Employees said a fire broke out in a paint room and they tried to put it out with an extinguisher. But the fire quickly spread and they called for help.

All 18 employees made it out of the building safely.

Capt. Stu Bevis, Wichita Fire department, said damage to the building is extensive. He said the structure is also unstable, which is keeping officials from completing their investigation.

UPDATE: Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A fire inside a paint booth forced a northeast Wichita business to evacuate the building.

The fire broke out at the Viking Corporation, a cleaning supply manufacture company at 3810 North Tobin Street, just before 8 a.m. Tuesday. Firefighters arrived to find thick, black smoke and flames showing from the business.

Stu Bevis, Wichita Fire department, said employees noticed a small fire inside the building, and tried to put it out with an extinguisher. The fire quickly spread, forcing the evacuation.

There were 18 employees in the building when the fire started. All managed to escape unharmed.

Bevis says because of size of the structure and its contents, the fire grew to the point there were concerns of a structural collapse. He says the north and south walls of the bowed out from the heat of the fire.

"I know the interior crew that was in there initially had a lot of fire rolling up above them into the ceiling layers and that's problematic structurally," said Bevis.

Bevis said crews were forced to fight the fire from the outside, due to unsafe conditions inside the building. A cause and damage estimate are under investigation.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A fire at a northeast Wichita business has forced crews to fight the blaze from the outside.

Firefighters were called to the scene at the Viking Corporation, 3810 N. Tobin just before 8 a.m. Tuesday. Officials arrived to find heavy smoke and flames showing from the building.

At least two additional crews have been called to help battle the blaze. There are no reports of anyone inside the building.

According to the company's website, Viking manufactures and distributes industrial cleaning supplies.

Capt. Stu Bevis, Wichita Fire, said some chemicals and and other materials caught fire, but it is unknown what sparked the blaze.

KAKE News does have a crew headed to the scene and will provide more information as it become available. Stay tuned for KAKE news at 11 a.m. for more updates.


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