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Kan. firefighters injured in stairway collapse during apartment fire

Wichita firefighters were moving up to the third floor to rescue occupants when the stairway collapsed


Wichita Fire Department/Facebook

By Michael Stavola
The Wichita Eagle

WICHITA, Kan. — Firefighters used a ladder to pull one unresponsive person from an east Wichita apartment building fire that injured four people early Friday morning, battalion chief Jose Ocadiz said.

Two people, who reportedly jumped from the third story, had serious injuries and a fourth person was critically injured, he said. At least two firefighters also fell from the stairwell after it collapsed, but weren’t injured.

The cause of the fire is under investigation. All six units of the building are uninhabitable.

Conditions for the patients were not available shortly before noon Friday.

Firefighters were called to an apartment fire just after 4 a.m. at Brookhollow Apartments, 8165 E. Central, which is near Rock. Firefighters en route saw flames and smoke coming from the building and called for additional firefighters to respond. Arriving firefighters found the flames and smoke coming from the second and third stories.

Firefighters were running a hose up to the third floor when the stairwell collapsed and they fell to the ground, Ocadiz said. He thought it was two to three firefighters and didn’t know how far they fell.

Without a stairwell, firefighters were forced to climb a ladder to get to the apartment windows and search inside.

“Search and rescue crews extricated two trapped occupants and several others that were ambulatory,” the fire department said on social media.

Ocadiz did not have the age or gender of those who were hurt. American Red Cross was called to assist the people who were affected by the fire.

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