TOPEKA, Kan. –The Topeka Fire Department responded to a structure fire located at 1801 NE Grantville Rd. Topeka, Kansas shortly after 3:00 PM on Tuesday April 17, 2018. Upon arrival, fire suppression crews found a fully involved vehicle fire that had spread to the exterior of a machine shop.
Fire suppression crews were able to extinguish the vehicle and the associated structure. The structure sustained heavy damage to the exterior wall and roof. Possible contaminated runoff occurred as a result of the fire and extinguishment efforts, Suppression crews were able to protect nearby drainage ditches from this runoff by placing protective barriers to collect any hazardous materials.
The Topeka Fire Department Investigation’s Unit responded to this incident to perform an origin and cause scene investigation. The following is a brief summary;
- Preliminary investigation indicates the origin of the fire to be within a salvaged vehicle on the exterior of the machine shop. The cause of the fire is listed as Accidental; associated with workers draining fluids from salvaged vehicles. Arcing from electric tools sparked the fire.
- Estimated dollar loss – $30,000 (Thirty Thousand Dollars); $25,000 to the machine shop and $5000 associated contents loss.
- The initial response to this fire involved three Engine Companies, two Truck Companies, Two Battalion Chiefs and one Fire Investigator.
- Other agencies assisting with this incident included Westar Energy, and American Medical Response.
- The fluids being collected from the salvaged vehicles were intentionally being drained into holding containers. The addition of water during the fire suppression efforts allowed for the fluids to overflow the containers, which precipitated the collection of water runoff.
- Smoke detectors were not present within the machine shop.