East Wichita apartment fire displaces 18 people

Posted: Updated:
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

The Red Cross is helping at least 18 people after a fire destroyed two apartment units in east Wichita.

Firefighters responded to the fire at Rockborough Apartments, near Douglas and Rock Road, just before 2 p.m. Saturday. A fire started inside the dividing wall between two apartments.

"Since it was in a structural space, it could have easily burned the roof off the building," Wichita Fire Lt. Troy Thissen told KAKE News. The fire caused around $200,000 in damage to the building, and $50,000 to contents. Thissen said crews were able to get the fire under control quickly, and the fire could have caused much more damage if left unchecked. He called the firefighters' response "A very good stop."

Two three-level town home units are unlivable after the fire, but none of the residents or firefighters were hurt.

Investigators believe an  "accidental, un-specified electrical event" between walls caused the fire. Lieutenant Thissen said "in-house wiring" is believed to have sparked the flames.

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