UPDATE: (05/19/15) The Liberty Fire Department has issued a report on the early morning fire at the Jefferson Parks Apartments. That press release is posted below.
An apartment fire in Liberty, Mo. has claimed the life of a resident according to first responders.
Reportedly the first call to emergency dispatch came in at 3:45 a.m. and once on scene crews found flames shooting through the roof of the complex in the 1200 block of Missouri Court.
A resident reported they heard a loud bang and then noticed flames engulfing a first floor unit’s front door before the flames began to spread upward. Eventually the flames burned through the attic and roof.
It took firefighters from Kansas City and the Fort Osage District over an hour to completely extinguish the flames. Authorities indicate a person pulled from a first floor unit was unresponsive and perished on scene. Another occupant was taken to an area hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation and severe burns. Their current condition is unknown.
The cause of the fire is unknown, but the investigation will focus on the first floor unit.
Press Release from the Liberty Fire Department
LIBERTY, Mo. – An early morning fire heavily damaged an apartment building in the Jefferson Park Apartments in Liberty. One person was found dead at the scene.
The Liberty Fire Department was dispatched to the fire at 3:47 a.m. on May 19. Upon arriving on scene, personnel reported heavy smoke and fire showing with reports of possible people trapped. In addition, there were audible alarms sounding due to the quick actions of a resident who pulled a fire alarm to ensure that the other residents knew there was immediate danger due to a fire.
The initial focus of responding personnel was to ensure everyone was out of the building safely. With heavy fire from the first to the third floors and signs that the fire had extended into the attic, Liberty firefighters acted very quickly with the assistance of the Liberty Police Department to notify all residents and assist with a safe evacuation. Unfortunately, during this process, personnel found one resident was injured requiring transport to an area hospital and one was found deceased.
The fire was under control approximately one hour after the initial call with all residents accounted for. The assistance of the on-site manager expedited this process. Staff and Volunteers from the American Red Cross responded to assist those that were displaced to ensure their basic needs were met. In addition the Red Cross assisted Fire personnel with food and water.
The Liberty Fire Department was assisted at the scene by Fort Osage Fire Protection District, the Kansas City Fire Department and Kearney Fire Protection District. In addition, multiple ambulances were requested to stage in the area after the initial dispatch due to the type of structure and the possibility of trapped residents.
The investigation into the fire was completed by the State Fire Marshal’s Office with the assistance of Liberty Fire and Liberty Police personnel. According to the Investigator, the fire does not appear suspicious and will be ruled accidental. The Investigator was unable to rule out electrical. The fire appears to have started on the first floor in the apartment, where the resident was found deceased. It then spread to the upper levels and eventually to the attic area.
Identity of the deceased has not been confirmed and this will be done by the Jackson County Medical Examiner.