Residents return to Hemingway Plaza following fire

Posted at 11:59 AM, May 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-08 20:18:03-04

Residence of the Hemingway Plaza Condos on the Country Club Plaza can return to their homes, according to the building manager.

On Sunday morning the main transformer blew, causing an underground street fire, affecting power to several buildings on 48th St.

The Hemingway was most affected. Its residents were temporarily displaced. The manager says there is no smoke or water damage, but some trees outside were burnt.

Susie Frog was headed to the Royals game with her husband when her building was evacuated. She's relieved that her 5th-floor, front-facing condo has very little smoke damage.

"It smell a little different in here, but I think it's because of what the firefighters did." said Frog.
Clay Elifrits is with Servicemaster Restore. He says removing smells can be hard, especially on soft surfaces.
"Everything in the home the carpet and pad, everything there, it absorbs all that smell. So you really have to work hard to get the particulars of the smoke out of there," said Elifrits
They rely on powerful equipment like Hepa air filters and Hydroxyl Generators to eliminate odors. Elifrits said most people who try to remedy smoke damage on their own end of frustrated.

Residents have been staying in hotels or with their friends after smoke poured into condos on Sunday.

For some, thoughts of relatives were most important. Take Eddy Whitley, whose 86-year-old mother in law lives a few buildings down.

"I have a mother in law that lives on the ninth floor and she has oxygen machine that is electrically operated. Our first thought was we have to get her situated," said Whitley.

Whitley thanks the fire department for giving them a portable air tank they did not have to be electrically powered. He also thanked friends living nearby who called to alert him about the fire and let him temporarily charge her oxygen tank.

Another woman, Peyton Johnson, was studying for her Rockhurst University finals when the power went out.

"Luckily now there is Wifi everywhere. I picked out a spot at Starbucks to study, but it was kinda difficult to adjust," said Johnson.

The manager says gas, the alarms, air conditioning and the elevators are all working.

Kansas City Power and Light crews removed three burned transformers from the property on Monday. They plan to replace them as soon as possible.