Archive for Thursday, October 7, 2010

Timeline of the Boardwalk Apartment fire

Construction continues at the former Boardwalk Apartment complex,  524 Frontier Road. The new $10 million three-story apartment project is replacing  the former 1960's era complex that burned five years ago. Three residents died in that fire.

Construction continues at the former Boardwalk Apartment complex, 524 Frontier Road. The new $10 million three-story apartment project is replacing the former 1960's era complex that burned five years ago. Three residents died in that fire.

October 7, 2010


From the ashes: 5 years after the Boardwalk Apartment Fire

About 1:20 a.m. on Oct. 7, 2005, emergency dispatchers began receiving 911 calls about a fire at a northwest Lawrence apartment complex. In minutes, a fire at the Boardwalk Apartments ripped through 76 apartments. Three people died in what was one of the worst fires in Lawrence history. Five years later, we take a look back.

• Oct. 7, 2005: 911 calls begin coming in about 1 a.m. from panicked residents reporting a quickly spreading fire at the Boardwalk Apartment complex, 524 Fireside Drive. Three people, Yolanda Riddle, a social worker, Jose Gonzalez, an electrician, and Nicole Bingham, a Kansas University student, die in the fire. About 20 others are injured.

• Feb. 12, 2007: A mistrial is declared in the murder trial of Jason Allen Rose, 21. Rose confessed to setting the fire, but later recanted. The trial was halted after a commenter on the Journal-World’s website wrote that Rose had previously talked of setting fires. She was later called as a witness in the case.

• May 11, 2007: A Douglas County jury convicts Rose of three counts of involuntary manslaughter, one count of aggravated arson, and seven counts of aggravated battery. Prosecutors had asked jurors to convict Rose of murder. Rose is later sentenced to 10 years in prison, with credit for the 19 months he spent in jail leading up to the conviction.

• May 18, 2009: Victims of the fire and the owners of Boardwalk Apartments reach an out-of-court settlement for $12 million. During Rose’s trial, investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives testify that the design of the building contributed to the rapid spread of the fire. However, the building had passed an inspection weeks prior to the fire.

A day after the settlement was announced, the complex owners asked all tenants of what remained of the Boardwalk Apartments to leave their apartments.

• Nov. 22, 2009: Developers announce plans for demolishing Boardwalk Apartments and replacing them with a $10 million, 192-unit apartment complex at the same site. Construction on the site is ongoing.


RaverK 7 years, 6 months ago

Very sad memories... Looking at the picture of the new construction, and at many down in the city, these new structures seem to lack firewalls. Maybe sprinklers and new materials trump masonry walls but they look like tinder boxes to my untrained eye...

wmathews 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm not exactly sure which timeline you're looking for, but we've compiled a massive amount of photos, stories and videos from the Boardwalk Fire here:

bwilson 7 years, 6 months ago

I'm not sure which archive link you can't find now, but if it's the complete fire section, you can find it here:

It's also linked on the third tab of the feature that we posted today and that Whitney linked above.

The story in the archives mentioning Ryan Sayler's award is here:

If you have trouble with the search engine, what I generally do is just use a site-specific Google search. For instance, to find the award story I searched Google for " Ryan Sayler" (minus the quotation marks). Using the instruction restricts the Google search — it's fairly helpful.

Becky Wilson Web producer

wmathews 7 years, 6 months ago

The story wasn't purposely removed from the most discussed tab on the home page. Most discussed threads rotate on the home page based on a few factors, including recent activity and amount of comments, so it's likely other discussions are more active right now.

somebodynew 7 years, 6 months ago

Right Smitty, the LJW is in on the conspiracy also !!! I get it now....

somebodynew 7 years, 6 months ago

Well thanks. I do appreciate the concern and I did forget that comment. I thought it was a little different, but you are probably correct.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 6 months ago

I guess things will be nice and new for now, but they were once nice and new (and safe) with the previous Boardwalk Apartments.

We're still dealing with the same people and company; it's only a matter of time before things fall into disrepair and become unsafe again.

I'd suggest staying away from Boardwalk in Lawrence, and Park Place in Manhattan.

Dirtman24 7 years, 6 months ago

I will agree, Donna was one selfish blank and if you was on section 8 you had to wait as her regular tenants came first, I know this first hand as I reported her to Sec8 because the maintenance work was not being done period. Firewalls there is none in the new constructions and I have seen them. There is nothin to save anyone and aint this why the city shut them down. Building this place is just like being in the old place a match book waiting to be lit by another stupid prick. I was in this fire also, I have bad memories from it and I can't sleep nights because of it, but to not put in firewalls or some type of fire security system between apartments is DEAD WRONG. Your right I got 13 years at this lowlife area with that company and staff and they don't give a rats behind as I have seen what the owner has in KC area and they are much nicer and safer, this new stuff replacing the old is NOT SAFE by any means and I have construction experience..


Dirtman24 7 years, 6 months ago

also look at all the code violations they had prior up till the fire happened.. Makes one wonder why they was left to keep it open as it didn't pass many inspections all those years prior.... Check it out folks history and proof don't lie for this company and as a victim myself its my legal rights and constitutional rights of freedom of speech to say


jlmblondi 7 years, 6 months ago

Me and my husband were in this fire............ I was 4 month pregnant and the scarest time of my life not only did he try to hurt everyone else, but a unborn child. Not one fire alarm went off there was nothing to wake us up, besides the people banging on the doors and I thank them so much... We were screaming out the 2nd story window for help that I was preg. and a man actually came running around the front of the building to help me. Now today my husband is one of the ones who got to tear them down!!!!!!

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