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From the ashes 5 years after the Boardwalk Apartment Fire

Five years later

Survivors recount lasting effects of one of the worst fires in Lawrence history, which killed three people and injured 20 others in a matter of minutes.

Fire has had lasting effect on victims

Sandy Meyers barely escaped the fatal Boardwalk Apartment fire. Five years later, she talks about the fire and the lasting effects the trauma has had on her.

Reminders linger half a decade following fire

Today, the 500 block of Fireside Drive in northwest Lawrence is a construction site, where workers are building the shell of what eventually will be an apartment complex. Five years ago today, the property was the site of one of the worst fires in Lawrence history. In a matter of minutes a blaze tore through the Boardwalk Apartments complex, killing three people and injuring 20 others.

Timeline of the Boardwalk Apartment fire

Officer recalls night of fire

Douglas County Sheriff's Detective Jay Armbrister discusses his experience responding to the Boardwalk Apartment fires. Armbrister was one of the first emergency workers on scene. He received a Silver Award from the Kansas Association of Chiefs of Police in 2006 for helping save the life of a Lawrence man trapped in a stairwell during the Oct. 7, 2005, fire.

Locals remember Boardwalk Apartments fire

Five years ago today, a fire engulfed the Boardwalk Apartments, killing three and displacing dozens more.

Comments

lawrenceguy40 4 years, 2 months ago

Journalistic award fodder! Get over it LJW. The Pullitzer will never come your way. Try reporting today's local news.

Joel 4 years, 2 months ago

I'm sorry you see this as a reason to take a cheap shot at the Journal-World, lawrenceguy40.

I was the first Journal-World reporter on the scene of this tragedy, and I know the event weighs heavily on me five years later. All the many other people who were directly or indirectly affected by the fire -- the survivors, the families, the emergency responders and many others -- are no doubt marking this day. It obviously still has resonance in the community; it is news.

My thoughts are with those who experienced that night -- those who survived and those who didn't.

Joel Mathis Philadelphia

lissamphibia 4 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

John Kyle 4 years, 2 months ago

Go to h*ll lawrenceguy40. I lost a friend in that fire and worthless anonymous jerks like you should just shut up. If you got nothing to say, then say nothing.

openminded 4 years, 2 months ago

I have a dear friend that was lost in the fire. I'm proud to take a look back at the fire and her life. It is articles like this that make you appreciate everything you have at the moment. Makes you hug your family just a bit harder when you leave for work, makes you say I love you just a few more times throughout the day. I am very thankful for this article. And thank you Joel. I still cry when I read this, cried during Rose's trial and cried at his sentencing. This article is a part of Lawrence's history. If you don't like it, don't read it.

bearded_gnome 4 years, 2 months ago

Joel, maybe you don't read the threads here lately.
to refer to LG40 as a troll actually insults trolls.

we all know about him. don't worry.

thank you for the article ljw, this very serious event has effected our community in so many lives.
a story on the anniversary just makes sense.

openminded 4 years, 2 months ago

Thanks gnome. I couldn't have said it better myself.

bearded_gnome 4 years, 2 months ago

OM: Thanks gnome. I couldn't have said it better myself.

---you're welcome.

it is an event that is perminently etched in Lawrence history.

BigJayhawk 4 years, 2 months ago

I lived in one of those apartments in 1992-1993 or so (actually it was 2 adjoining apartments made into one -- #7 & #8 as I recall). My room-mates and I lived on the top floor. The decks and stairs to the ground were all wood as I recall. Seeing the photos 5 years ago really made me think back about what a TERROR that must have been for the victims to try to escape. It was eery for me and I was out of there about 13 years prior.

Thanks for the look back LJW. (Posting this from New Jersey.)

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 1 month ago

lawrenceguy40 - I guess you don't read much. A lot of fires are still written about decades after the event, especially if there was a great and needless loss of life due to inadequate fire protection and/or escape routes. By correcting the deficiences, there is no way to tell how many people have been spared a horrible death.

Here are a couple fires that will always be "news":

The Iroquois Theatre fire occurred on December 30, 1903, in Chicago, Illinois. It is the deadliest theater fire and the deadliest single-building fire in United States history. A total of 602 people died as a result of the fire.

Cocoanut Grove Fire - On November 28th 1942, a huge fire occurred at the Cocoanut Grove Night Club in Boston. 492 people perished in total.

In the aftermath of those fires, there were many code changes, and the enforcement of the existing codes was given a much higher priority.

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