About 70 people at the Johnson County Care Center in Warrensburg had to be evacuated Sunday afternoon when a fire broke out in the basement. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation
Press Release from the Warrensburg Fire Department
The Warrensburg Fire Department responded at 12:31 PM today to an automatic fire alarm activation at Johnson County Care Center, 122 E. Market Street. The facility is a three story (plus basement) building utilized as a state licensed nursing facility. Approximately 70 residents were in the facility at the time of the alarm activation.
Fire Department units and personnel responded promptly and were advised by staff members at the front door that a fire had occurred in a commercial clothes dryer located in the basement’s laundry room and that the fire was out.
As firefighters were verifying there was no fire in the laundry room, they were alerted to the presence of smoke on the second and third floors. After they began removing occupants from the upper floors, another member of the facility’s staff alerted them to the presence of a fire in a storage room in the southeast area of the basement.
On-scene Incident Commander Doyle Oxley requested the response of all available off-duty Warrensburg Fire Department personnel as well as crews and equipment from the Johnson County Fire Protection District and the Johnson County Ambulance District.
The fire crews directed their efforts towards attacking and quickly extinguishing the storage room fire and the simultaneous evacuation of the residents from the building. The fire was quickly extinguished but not before smoke migrated throughout the building.
As additional fire fighting and emergency medical service resources arrived, the priority transitioned from fire attack to ensuring all residents and staff members were safely accounted for outside the facility. Simultaneously, efforts geared toward smoke removal were increased in an attempt to minimize smoke damage to the facility and its contents. Residents were evaluated by facility staff and medical personnel from the Johnson County Ambulance District after they were evacuated from the building.
After being moved outside and evaluated by ambulance district medics and facility staff, the residents were relocated to the Daily Star-Journal newspaper across the street at 135 E. Market St. They remained there until they were transported to nursing facilities in Warrensburg and the Kansas City area. The Daily Star-Journal’s allowing the residents to stay inside the heated building was an excellent form of assistance.
The investigation of the fire is being conducted by the Missouri Division of Fire Safety with assistance from the Warrensburg Police and Fire Departments. Traffic control assistance was provided by the Warrensburg Police Department and the University of Central Missouri’s Department of Public Safety. Personnel from the Johnson County Emergency Management Agency responded and assisted the Johnson County Ambulance Service with resident relocation. KCP&L and MGE personnel responded promptly and assisted as needed. A City building inspector responded to the scene and evaluated the conditions in the fire area and adjacent rooms and areas.
The management and staff of the Johnson County Care Center worked closely with firefighters during the evacuation and subsequent activities at the scene.
Investigators will return to the scene on Monday, February 20, to continue their efforts directed at determining the fire’s cause.