Fire at JJ's on the Plaza: Witness saw large flame near backhoe

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Kansas City resident says he saw a large flame coming from near a construction vehicle when the massive fire at JJ's Restaurant on the Plaza started.

"I could see a flame coming out of the ditch directly between the backhoe and JJ's," the man told 41 Action News during a live interview. He says he "knew the backhoe had hit a gas line at that point because of the concussive blast."

He said the backhoe was in the street directly in front of the restaurant.

The man said he entered a neighboring apartment building to help alert those living inside.

"My concern was for the residents of the apartment building on the corner," he said. "Because I could see the fire was going to rapidly threaten that residence."

Authorities have said they believe the fire started when a vehicle hit a gas line, but have not confirmed whether or not it was a backhoe.

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