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Apartment fire in 1200 block of Agnes Avenue to be investigated as arson

1 person hospitalized
Posted at 5:32 AM, Aug 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-22 19:33:30-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One person is in the hospital following an early morning apartment fire which Kansas City, Missouri, police said they will investigate as arson.

It happened before 3 a.m. at a two-story abandoned apartment building near East 13th Street and Agnes Avenue.

When crews arrived, there was heavy fire covering the back of the building from top to bottom and side to side.

Battalion Chief Hugh Oldham told 41 Action News crews on the scene that three squatters had been on the roof prior to the fire.

When firefighters arrived, one man had jumped from the roof and was hurt in the yard. He was transported to the hospital in stable condition.

Crews had to rescue a woman who was still on the roof and a man on a second floor balcony. They were treated at the scene.

The fire eventually traveled inside the building and took 45 minutes to put out.

Neighbors say the once-beautiful apartment building has been vacant for 25 years and is constantly being boarded up.

Marge Mitchell has lived across the street for 85 years and is sad to see what the block has turned into. She heard yelling Thursday morning and called 911 after seeing fire outside her window.

“I've noticed a man up there on that roof before, but, honey, if you call them (the police), they don't do anything,” Mitchell said.

Before the fire, the city responded to a 311 complaint about one of the doors being open.

“They keep boarding it up and I don't know how they keep getting in there," Mitchell said. "They ask me, 'Do I see them? Well, I don’t. They don't come in the front way."

Thursday morning’s fire isn’t the only one at the building.

The vacant house next to the apartments at 1226 Agnes Ave. caught fire last week.

The same person owns the house and apartment building. The owner runs CEI Mechanical and Electrical, whose office is just a block to the west.

41 Action News went to the business and tried getting in touch with the owner, but he did not return our calls.

A home at the end of the block near 12th Street caught fire a few weeks ago.

It was deemed a dangerous building and demolished a short time later. Neighbors say that house was also vacant.