An Overland Park duplex and a Shawnee house were damaged by fires in separate incidents Tuesday evening that both reportedly started in kitchens.
Nobody was injured in either incident, and the exact causes for the fires are under investigation, though “careless cooking” was initially blamed for at least one of the blazes.
First fire at Overland Park duplex
- Overland Park and Lenexa firefighters were called to 8307 Switzer Road at 5:34 p.m. on Tuesday.
- Firefighters arrived to find fire in the kitchen that had spread to the second floor and into the adjoining residence.
- Everyone escaped from both sides of the duplex without injury, and the fire was reported to be fully extinguished just after 7:15 p.m.
- In total, four people were displaced by the fire.
Tripped breaker may have caused fire
- The building’s owner tells the Post that a resident was cooking when a breaker tripped.
- Jason Rhodes, an Overland Park Fire Department spokesperson, says the resident reported hearing a popping sound and then seeing fire after resetting the breaker.
- Rhodes says it is important to pay attention to electrical breakers.
- “If they trip, there’s likely something wrong,” Rhodes said. “It’s safest to call an electrician to correct whatever caused the trip before re-energizing.”
Grease fire in Shawnee kitchen
- Meanwhile, three adults escaped from a house at 6446 McCoy Street in Shawnee just before 8:50 p.m.
- A 911 caller reported a grease fire in the kitchen.
- Arriving police officers reported flames visible from the rear of the house.
- Fire crews were able to bring the blaze under control in 15 minutes.
- The Red Cross was called in to assist the displaced residents.
‘Carless cooking’ blamed for Shawnee fire
- Shawnee Deputy Fire Chief Corey Sands tells the Post that Johnson County Med-Act treated two adults at the scene for minor smoke inhalation.
- Investigators said on the scene that the fire was caused by “careless cooking.”
- The Post has reached out to the fire department for clarification of the cause and had yet to hear back at the time of this story’s publicaton.
- Damage to the house is estimated at $150,000.
Mike Frizzell is a freelance crime and fire reporter who runs Operation 100 News.