Passer-by notices smoke, alerts residents

WICHITA — A passer-by noticed smoke, tracked it down and alerted residents of a triplex — possibly saving their lives early this morning, a fire official said.

Although no one was injured, the fire caused about $120,000 in damage to the structure and $30,000 to contents, said Capt. Stuart Bevis, with the Wichita fire investigation unit.

The fire, in the 2600 block of South Fees, in the Planeview neighborhood, was reported at about 1:15 a.m., he said.

The passer-by, who noticed smoke and traced it to the source, alerted six residents of the triplex, who got out safely, Bevis said.

When fire crews arrived, the fire had burned through the roof.

Part of the roof collapsed.

Although the cause of the fire hasn't been determined, investigators suspect it could have resulted from an electrical fire in the attic or a wall, Bevis said.