UPDATE: KC woman charged in connection to fire

Posted at 5:12 AM, Jan 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-08 21:48:10-05

UPDATE 6:30 p.m.,|  A Kansas City woman has been charged in connection to a fire that destroyed an apartment building early Friday morning. 

According to Jackson County Courts, Loukesha Smith, 37, has been charged with one count of arson.

Smith’s bail has been set at $50,000.

UPDATE | Firefighters continued to monitor hotspots in the apartment building Friday afternoon. Some began to smoke. 


Kansas City police said a person of interest is being interviewed in connection to an apartment fire that happened early Friday morning.

Firefighters were called to an apartment fire at 2660 Lockridge Ave.

The apartment building was one of five owned by Houston Enterprises in the same area. The property manager told 41 Action News there were six apartments with six lease holders and "maybe 10 people total" lived in the building.

Firefighters were told to evacuate the building and then fought the fire defensively. 

The back stairwell collapsed, according to crews on the scene. Part of the roof collapsed before 6:30 a.m. Before 7 a.m., one of the battalion chiefs said the back of the structure had partially collapsed and the roof had completely caved in. Close to 8 a.m., the front of the building also collapsed.

Firefighters have called the building a total loss.

A battalion chief updated the media around 7 a.m. before the front of the building collapsed: 

Around 8 a.m. Friday, authorities said the fire was under control and crews are continuing to monitor hotspots.

At least two people have been transported from the scene by paramedics. 

More than a dozen people have been displaced after a fire engulfed the building.

Authorities have closed Lockridge and Benton to traffic due to the fire. KCATA tweeted that it is continuing its 27th route despite the fire and is also providing a warming bus to residents affected by the fire.

Many residents evacuated the building without shoes. A couple people have reportedly jumped out of the building to escape.

Sarah Plake and Andres Gutierrez live tweeted from the scene.


Stay with 41 Action News as we continue to update this story.