Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Fire investigators said a fire at a Southeast Wichita apartment complex caused nearly two million dollars in damage and the cause has not been determined.
The fire at the Ashley Lane Apartments broke out just before 5:30 a.m. It damaged the complex located at 2260 S. Oliver, near Pawnee and Oliver.
Investigators said the fire broke out on the upper floors of building 800. Firefighters reported heavy smoke and flames showing upon arrival.
Investigators safely evacuated all the residents from 48 units and do not expect people to move back at this time. Each of the units suffered fire, smoke, or water damage.
All morning and afternoon, flare ups prevented investigators from getting inside the building. There was a report of a small explosion involving flames that broke out windows in the complex.
"We could barely even stand in there because of the level of damage. That's why you saw that we were on the roof, but we were actually on the walls. We were walking on the walls. The roof was burned away," said Capt. Stu Bevis, Wichita Fire Department Investigations.
Initial reports showed that at least five people were treated for minor smoke inhalation. Fire captains said all residents escaped from the complex safely.
Damage to the building is listed at $1.5 million with a loss of contents estimated at $250,000.