Archive for Thursday, May 10, 2018

Firefighters called back to Heritage Tractor building for flare-up 5 days after destructive fire

An aerial photo shows damage to Heritage Tractor, 1110 E. 23rd St., caused by a fire that occurred on Saturday, May 5, 2018.

An aerial photo shows damage to Heritage Tractor, 1110 E. 23rd St., caused by a fire that occurred on Saturday, May 5, 2018.

May 10, 2018


Firefighters returned to Heritage Tractor Thursday morning to put out a flare-up that surfaced five days after the initial fire that burned through the building.

The “rekindle” happened in the old records storage above the business’s office, said Division Chief and Fire Marshal James King of Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical.

Crews were able to put it out quickly, King said. He said firefighters remained on the scene to further search the building for any other hidden fire or hot spots.

The flare-up did not result in any additional loss or injuries, he said.

Firefighters were dispatched around 8 a.m. and were still on the scene as of about 9 a.m.

The initial fire was reported about 7 p.m. Saturday at Heritage Tractor, 1110 E. 23rd St. More than two dozen firefighters and 10 trucks battled it for more than three hours before it was deemed under control.

Crews remained on the scene overnight and conducted their investigation of the scene before eventually clearing the property on Sunday.

On Wednesday, the fire department released its ruling that the fire was accidental and caused by a power pole that broke off at its base and fell on the building. The fire caused an estimated $4 million in damage to the building and its contents, the fire department said.

Westar Energy is investigating what caused the pole to fall.

Contact public safety reporter Sara Shepherd
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Jake Davis 2 weeks ago

The fire departments conclusion appears precipitous. What caused the pole to break at the base? Usually poles do not just "break" unless some force was used such as a vehicle running into it or weather related.

Ron Holzwarth 2 weeks ago

A pole will break at its base if the load it is supporting, i.e. the power lines, is heavy enough and uneven enough. That should be investigated.

Also, normal deterioration such as rot or rust will cause the same event.

Paul Geisler 1 week, 6 days ago

In the previous LJW article it stated that the power pole belongs to Westar Energy and they are researching the maintenance/inspection records for this particular power pole in an effort to determine the cause. The fire department rightly said their role is to determine what started the fire, but it is not their role to determine how the pole broke. That would be like asking an auto-body shop to determine what caused the wreck that led to the damage they are being asked to fix.

Jake Davis 1 week, 6 days ago

Gosh, didn’t realize fire investigations were so simple. I thought maybe they cared. So if someone spread gasoline throughout a house and set it ablaze, their only responsibility is to say an ignition source and gasoline were the cause of the fire...that explains their investigation at the America’s Best Value Inn fire.

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