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Archive for Friday, December 13, 2013

25 years ago: Cooking fire causes smoke damage at Jayhawker Towers

December 13, 2013

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Dec. 13, 1988:

An overnight cooking fire had caused $10,000 damage, mostly from smoke, at the Jayhawker Towers apartments, 1603 W. 15th. Lawrence Fire Chief Jim McSwain said a pan of grease had ignited in a third-floor apartment, and the flames had spread to the cabinets and walls above the stove. Firefighters had extinguished the blaze in minutes but had stayed on the scene for a few hours, ventilating smoke from the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth floors. McSwain said the apartment's occupant had accidentally locked herself out the apartment after leaving a pan on the stove. All neighboring occupants had been evacuated and no one had been injured; apartment manager Marilyn Schroeder said that one group had handled the disruption with holiday cheer, gathering in a safe area and singing Christmas carols. The occupant of the damaged apartment later explained that after accidentally locking herself out, she had found an assistant manager to let her back in the apartment, only to find the room filled with smoke. "That's not really unusual, because there's no ventilation in here," she said. "Even when you cook a hamburger, the smoke alarm goes off." She went on to clarify that the fire had started when the assistant manager had spilled grease on the stove burner when trying to remove the pan.

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