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Archive for Thursday, February 15, 2001

Fire destroys Tonganoxie fourplex

February 15, 2001

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— A fire that residents said could have been prevented destroyed a fourplex late Wednesday in Tonganoxie.

Police and fire crews responded to the fire call around 9:45 p.m. Wednesday at Cedar Hills, 1207 Ridge Circle. The fire was under control by 11 p.m., said William Dailey of the Tonganoxie Police Department.

Two units in the building were empty at the time of the fire, but two were occupied by families.

All eight residents were evacuated during the fire; no injuries were reported.

"My kids were upstairs in bed and I went up there and I could see the smoke," said Marla H. Lopez, one of the unit's residents.

Lopez paced nearby in the cold air outside as flames shot out of the apartment building windows. She and other residents blamed poor management for their losses.

A fire in December struck the same fourplex, owned by Lawrence-based First Management. Since then, residents said they had complained of electrical problems that never were repaired.

No one from First Management could be reached early this morning for comment.

Wednesday night's fire began in the southernmost unit of the fourplex, the same apartment where the December fire occurred, and spread to all four units in the building.

The fourplex was destroyed, Dailey said.

Officials, however, did not place a dollar estimate on the loss Wednesday night.

Lopez and resident David Berry said fire alarms hadn't been replaced since the first fire. Smoke was their first warning of danger Wednesday night, they said.

The Red Cross was making arrangements for the two families to stay in area motels.

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