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Independence fire crews respond to uptick of fires over holiday weekend

Independence Apt Fire.jpeg
Posted at 10:40 PM, Jul 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 23:56:18-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — Independence fire crews couldn’t seem to catch a break, running from call to call over the Fourth of July weekend. Many of the causes still under investigation.

“To see those guys rush into that garage knowing that smoke was pouring out of the house and that attic is on fire, it takes guts,” Trent Turner said.

According to Craig DuPlantis, the Independence assistant fire chief, the department received about 90 to 100 calls for help each day.

DuPlantis said the busy holiday weekend could be an understatement for the fire department.

“This is a bit unusual, we’ve had significant working fires in the last couple of weeks,” DuPlantis said.

Late Monday night off Quail Drive near Highway 40, fire burst through a car port and apartments.

“The average house fire with a couple rooms burning is what we do every day," DuPlantis said. “But when you pull up at an apartment complex and an entire car port with a bunch of vehicles and apartments are going, it’s overwhelming for a second.”

Though there were melted car parts and residents displaced, no one was injured.

Turner saw flames in his neighborhood a few miles from the fire near Quail Drive.

“First it was a little smoke coming out of the rain gutter,” Turner said. “He was trying to fight it with a garden house. When the firefighters got up there with the chainsaw and cut holes in the roof, I’ve never seen anything like that. I’ve never witnessed a house fire this close to my home.”

James and Deborah Barcley also witnessed a fire in their neighborhood.

“My granddaughter said, ‘I see flashing lights out the window,’" James Barcley said.

All while working in the heat.

“To see them shake off the heat and shed their protective clothing, and drink half a bottle of water and pour the rest on their head gave me a new respect for firefighters,” Turner said.

James Barcley said it's a reminder to stay safe.

“Keep your house insurance paid up and be aware of your situation and maintenance on your home,” he said.