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Fire damages northeast Wichita apartment building

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, at 7:03 p.m.

An electrical fire Thursday at a housing complex caused $75,000 in estimated damage and left two men with minor injuries from smoke inhalation.

Wichita Fire Department Battalion Chief Joe Bickle said fire crews were called to Willowbend Apartments, 3939 N. Comotara, around 3 p.m., after a man saw smoke in the building’s lobby but couldn’t find its source. Firefighters who investigated discovered fire inside the exterior walls of the lobby, Bickle said, and had to knock out Sheetrock to reach the flames.

The fire took about 15 minutes to extinguish, Bickle said. Crews returned throughout the day, he said, to ensure there were no flareups. The building, formerly the Inn at Willowbend, is northeast of 37th Street North and Rock Road.

The building sustained about $50,000 in structural damage. Loss to its contents was estimated at $25,000.

Bickle said two men suffered minor smoke inhalation but refused medical treatment. Others in the building were evacuated.

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