Two-alarm fire engulfs Overland Park apartments

A two-alarm fire that engulfed a building in an Overland Park apartment complex near Interstate 35 displaced more than a dozen people Friday, a fire department spokesman said.

Firefighters responded to the blaze about 3:50 p.m. at the Highlands Apartments in the 8000 block of Farley Street.

Firefighters were told that there was a person possibly trapped inside the burning building, said Jason Rhodes, a spokesman for the Overland Park Fire Department.

The first firefighters on the scene reported heavy smoke coming from a two-story apartment building. They began to attack the fire in the attic while additional firefighters helped a person with mobility issues from the scene, Rhodes said.

Fire crews searched the building and declare it clear after finding no one inside, Rhodes said.

A second-alarm was sounded shortly after 4 p.m., sending additional firetrucks and crews to the scene. The flames and smoke from the fire were so intense they could be seen by drivers on I-35 near 79th Street.

While fighting the blaze, firefighters saw the ceiling collapse and fire break through the roof of the building. Crews were pulled from the inside to fight the flames defensively outside.

As aerial trucks sprayed streams of water down onto the flames, firefighters used ground lines to bring the fire under control and kept it from spreading to other buildings, Rhodes said.

KCM_opapartmentfireME060322 (3)
Firefighters were battling a two-alarm fire that had engulfed an Overland Park apartment building near Interstate 35, the Overland Park Fire Department said Friday afternoon. Firefighters responded to the blaze about 3:50 p.m. at the Highlands North and South apartment complex in the 8000 block of Farley St. A second-alarm was sounded shortly after 4 p.m., sending additional firetrucks and crews to the the scene. Rich Sugg [email protected]

The blaze was brought under control in about an hour. No injuries were reported and all residents were accounted for.

The building is likely a total loss, Rhodes said. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

As many as 18 people were displaced by the fire, said Angie Springs, a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross. The agency was assisting them with their immediate needs, including clothes, food, essential medications and eyeglasses as well as making sure they had a safe place to go.

“Hopefully we will bring some calm to the night and help these people out,” Springs said.

This story was originally published June 3, 2022 4:49 PM.

Related stories from Kansas City Star

Robert A. Cronkleton gets up very early in the morning to bring readers breaking news about crime, transportation and weather at the crack of dawn. He’s been at The Star since 1987 and now contributes data reporting and video editing. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rockhurst College, where he studied communications and computer science.