Hutchinson man narrowly escapes apartment fire at Plaza Towers

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KWCH) The Hutchinson Fire Department says a man narrowly escaped an apartment fire on Friday.

Fire crews got the call at 11:45 p.m. of a fire on the 11th floor at Plaza Towers in downtown Hutchinson.

Chief Steven Beer says when crews got on scene they encountered heavy smoke in the hallway on the 11th floor. By utilizing thermal imaging cameras, firefighters were able to locate the source.

Once inside, crews discovered the fire was coming from a stove. One sprinkler head was activated and containing it to that area.

In the meantime, additional crews worked to evacuate the immediate floors below and above the fire floor and to ventilate the building.

After a brief investigation, firefighters discovered the fire was started by the tenant turning on a kitchen stove burner which then ignited other material on the stove. This stove was turned on by the tenant in order to provide heat for the apartment.

The tenant narrowly escaped the smoky conditions and was alerted by the sprinkler head water spraying him. The tenant had a difficult time locating the exit in the near zero visibility smoke conditions.

Hutchinson Fire Department was assisted by Hutchinson Police Department, Reno County EMS, and the Red Cross.