Wichita firefighter injured in 3-alarm apartment fire released from hospital

On Tuesday, July 19, 2022, the Wichita Fire Department called out two alarms on a fire at the...
On Tuesday, July 19, 2022, the Wichita Fire Department called out two alarms on a fire at the Aspen Park Apartments in west Wichita.(KWCH)
Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 6:34 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Update Wednesday morning, July 20: The firefighter who suffered heat exhaustion while fighting a fire at an apartment complex in west Wichita on Tuesday is back home. In a Facebook post, the Wichita Firefighters - IAFF LOCAL 135 said the firefighter has returned home and is recovering.

Update Wednesday morning, July 20: Wichita Battalion Chief Jose Ocadiz said a discarded cigarette is what caused the three-alarm apartment fire in west Wichita on Tuesday. Ocadiz said the fire caused about $1.5 million in losses to the structure, plus another $500,000 in losses for what was in the apartments. About 20 residents were displaced as a result of the fire. The injured firefighter is still in the hospital.

On its Facebook page, the Wichita Fire Department said an occupant had been smoking on the balcony prior to the fire. The fire spread over the covered balcony and to the soffit. The fire breached the wall space where a fireplace chase is located, which gave the fire a direct path to spread into the attic space. No citizens were injured.

The Wichita Fire Department confirmed a third alarm called out for an apartment fire in west Wichita and that one firefighter was seriously injured in the fight to contain it. An ambulance transported the firefighter to a local hospital in serious, but non-life-threatening condition. The WFD confirmed the firefighter did suffer heat exhaustion but was expected to be okay. With the third alarm called on the fire at the Aspen Park Apartment Complex in the 8400 block of West Central, additional units included firefighters with Sedgwick County, neighboring communities and off-duty personnel, WFD said.

The American Red Cross had volunteers at the apartment complex, assisting families and providing resources for people impacted. Images shared by the Wichita Fire Department showed destruction to most of the units in the building where the fire happened. Investigators are working to determine what started the blaze.

The Wichita Fire Department is on the scene of a two-alarm apartment fire in the 8400 blk of W Central Ave.

The fire department reports heavy smoke coming from the Aspen Park Apartment Complex. The fire department said heavy smoke is obscuring visibility on Central east of Tyler.

Crews have gone defensive on the fire, and battling the blaze from outside the building. Drivers are advised to avoid the area.

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