Tennessee house fire - Reader photos
Reader-submitted photos from the house fire at 17th and Tennessee streets on December 14, 2009.
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Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical crews responded about 9:50 p.m. Monday to a structure a fire on at the southeast corner of 17th and Tennessee streets.
Multiple emergency crews were on scene and traffic on streets in the immediate vicinity of the residence was closed. Smoke billowing from the two-story apartment building could be seen from several blocks away and flames were visible from the east side of the building's upper level. Crews attacked the fire from several different positions around the home, including making use one of the fire truck's ladders to cover the flames from above.
Leighton Watts, a resident of the one of the building's apartments, said he was on the top floor of the building when he smelled smoke and saw it coming up from the stairs. Watts said he grabbed a fire extinguisher and attempted to put out the flames, but quickly realized it was too late. He was able to get himself and several friends who were visiting out safely.
People from residences in the area stood around in the 13 degree weather to watch crews as they worked to put the fire out.
Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical issued a media release just after midnight Tuesday in regard to the fire. The release stated crews responded to the two-alarm fire and began a defensive fire attack because of the large amount of fire that was visible and spreading across the roof.
All the building's occupants were accounted for and there were no injuries to department personnel while fighting the fire, which crews at the scene advised was under control about midnight Tuesday.
The structure was declared a total loss.
The American Red Cross and the University of Kansas are assisting the displaced occupants. An investigation into the cause is ongoing and an estimate of the damages was not available as of 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Check back to LJWorld.com for more information as it becomes available.