KCFD releases report on JJ's Restaurant explosion

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City Fire Department released its incident report on the explosion at JJ's Restaurant, sharing new, chilling details on its initial response and search for victims.

The report was released Wednesday.

READ THE REPORT | http://bit.ly/Ya4Ev8

According to fire crews on the scene of the Feb. 19 explosion, flames were shooting more than 100 feet into the air when they arrived at 6:08 p.m. They found some victims lying on the ground in front of the restaurant, and others trying to pull themselves from the rubble.

Firefighters were told there were more victims inside the restaurant, but didn't find any after a quick search.

When the flames were contained, several fire companies and cadaver dogs searched for the missing victim, Megan Cramer. "There were waist-deep holes full of water and frigid conditions," according to the report, and crews searched for several hours without success.

Cramer was found after daylight the next morning.

RELATED | Full coverage of JJ's explosion http://bit.ly/13rnRvO

According to the report, fire crews were first called out to JJ's to investigate a gas leak at 4:54 p.m. When the arrived, construction workers told firefighters they had punctured a gas line, causing a steady leak.

Fire officials smelled gas when they went inside the restaurant, the report states, and they told management to turn off all ignition sources.

The manager of JJ's told firefighters that employees extinguished candles and turned the stove off -- however, pilot lights for the stove and hot water heater were not put out before the blast.

Firefighters then cleared the scene, leaving it with Missouri Gas Energy officials, according to the report.

It also listed the cause of the explosion as an accidental ignition of accumulated natural gas inside JJ's -- something 41 Action News confirmed in an exclusive interview with Chief Paul Berardi more than a week ago.

The report lists the specific ignition sources as an open flame or smoking materials in the kitchen area.

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