Crews battle fire in west Wichita, firefighter sent to hospital

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) Wichita Fire Department responded to an apartment fire in west Wichita near Tyler and 21st St. Sunday afternoon and one firefighter was transported to the hospital for heat-related illness.

"The heat stress does take a toll on the firefighters," said Battalion Chief John Turner.

Several other firefighters were also treated for heat-related illness, but not transported.

According to Turner, crews initially believed people were trapped inside the unit on fire in the 9000 block of West Westlawn.

"There were several neighbors outside who were very insistent that there were people inside," said Turner.

The battalion chief says crews searching the building faced challenges with furniture blocking doors in the residence.

After searching the complex, Turner says no people were found in the residence. He says three adults lived in the unit where the fire originated and Wichita Fire Department has not been able to locate them.

He says all four apartments in the building were affected from the fire or the smoke. The 12 to 15 residents who live in the building will all be displaced.

"Very extensive damage in this," said Turner. "We had fire from top to bottom in this building."

Turner says investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.