At least 15 people rescued during Shawnee apartment fire early Sunday morning

Shawnee apartment fire

Shawnee firefighters using ladders rescue people and their pets from second and third floor balconies at the Carlyle Apartments near 75th Street and Quivira Road in Shawnee early Sunday morning. Investigators say an automatic fire alarm called in by an alarm company first alerted crews to the fire. Photo credit Mike Frizzell.

At least 15 people were rescued from an apartment fire early Sunday morning in Shawnee.

Deputy Fire Chief Corey Sands says firefighters were dispatched to the Carlyle Apartments, 7601 Garnett Street, at 2:55 a.m. for an automatic fire alarm called in by an alarm company.

As firefighters were responding to investigate the alarm, he says that residents began calling 911, reporting smoke in the building.

Arriving firefighters went to work helping people out of the building.

Sands says firefighters rescued six people from one basement-level apartment window. At least six more were helped down ladders by firefighters on the other side of the building.

Several other residents were helped out of the building through their apartment doors.

Johnson County Med-Act evaluated several people at the scene. Three ambulances and a Med-Act Battalion Chief responded to the scene with fire crews. No one required transport by ambulance.

The fire was reported to be under control in about 30 minutes.

Sands credits the building’s fire alarm with alerting both residents and firefighters of the smoke filling the building. He says the buildings in this apartment complex were built before fire sprinklers were required.

As of Sunday morning, it remains unclear how many residents were displaced. The American Red Cross has been called in to assist.

Sands says Fire Investigators will be working throughout the morning to determine what caused the fire.

Firefighters from Shawnee were assisted at the scene by crews from Lenexa and Overland Park. An additional crew from Consolidated Fire District No. 2 responded to fill-in at one of Shawnee’s fire stations.

Check back with this report for updates as more information becomes available.

Mike Frizzell is a freelance crime and fire reporter who runs Operation 100 News.