Fire Marshal: Discarded cigarette sparked apartment fire in W. Wichita

WICHITA, Kan. Sunday, April 28, 2019

Screen grabbed image from video captured by Blake Kretchmar

Fire investigators say a discarded cigarette is to blame for an apartment fire earlier this week in west Wichita.

Fire Marshal Stewart Bevis said the cigarette was in a plastic container on one of the balconies.

The fire caused $500,000 in damages to the structure and $50,000 to contents inside the apartments.

Bevis said two firefighters were transported to the hospital but later released.

Red Cross was contacted to help 28 adults displaced by the fire.

Update, 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 26, 2019

Twenty eight people are displaced by a fire that heavily damaged a building to the Raintree Apartments, near Central and Ridge Road in west Wichita.

Wichita Fire Chief Tammy Snow says when crews arrived, they could see flames and smoke from a building at the southwest corner of the complex.

She says this fire started in the attic of the building. This was a wind-driven fire that consumed about half of the building's roof, Snow says.

Crews on the roof were able to safely cut a hole and attack from above to contain the fire. No residents nor firefighters were injured.

Snow says the property manager will be able to relocate the 28 people displaced by the fire to other units, but the American Red Cross was called to help residents replace necessity items like clothing and food.

She couldn't yet provide a damage estimate to the building, but did say it will basically need to be rebuilt.


Wichita Fire Department crews are on scene battling fire to a building at the Raintree apartment complex near Central and Ridge Road in west Wichita.

Sedgwick County dispatch says the emergency call came in a little before 3 p.m. this afternoon (Friday). Video submitted by a view shows flames on the roof of one apartment building with thick, black smoke.

On scene, Eyewitness News reporter Braxton Jones says fire was primarily contained to one building and shared video that shows the building's collapsed roof.

There are no reports of injuries.

(Photos below courtesy of Lance Ferguson)

(Courtesy: Lance Ferguson, Storm Team 12 storm chaser)
(Courtesy: Lance Ferguson, Storm Team 12 storm chaser)
(Courtesy: Lance Ferguson, Storm Team 12 storm chaser)