Liberal firefighters responded to a pair of fires on Liberal Monday. One was overnight at a residence and one was in the afternoon at a business.
At 12:49 am Monday morning the Liberal Fire Department responded to a report of smoke in the area of Lincoln Ave. & Walnut St. First arriving units at 12:52 am found heavy smoke and flame from the rear of a two story residential dwelling. The residence was unoccupied at the time of the fire. The fire was controlled in approximately 45 minutes. The second floor was a total loss and the first floor suffered extensive smoke and water damage. Firefighters remained on scene extinguishing smoldering material and investigating the cause of the fire until 3:22 am. Fire units were back in service at 4:14 am. LFD investigators returned to the scene to continue the investigation early Monday morning. This fire is believed to be accidental in nature as a result of combustible material too
close to a heat source. The LFD response included two engines and thirteen personnel. Also assisting at the scene were Liberal Police Department, Seward County EMS, Sheriff Office and Liberal American Red Cross. Commercial Fire – 335 S. Virginia Ave. At 4:38 pm Monday afternoon the Liberal Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire at 335 S. Virginia Ave. First arriving units at 4:41 pm reported heavy flame & smoke from the rear of the business. All occupants had safely exited the building, which housed an auto repair shop. Due to the advanced stage of the fire, firefighters mounted a defensive attack through garage doors on both ends of the building. Firefighting efforts were hampered by numerous explosions from six vehicles inside the building, the presence of large amounts of petroleum products and pressurized containers, arcing power lines and high temperatures at the time of the fire. Firefighters also contended with
grass and wood fires around the building. The fire was eventually controlled with multiple master streams and hand lines. The building and contents were a total loss. The investigation is ongoing; however it is believed to be caused by gasoline vapors igniting from an unknown source. Firefighters also responded to a reported vehicle fire at 250 E. Tucker during this incident. The Liberal Fire response included 3 engines, aerial platform and 18 personnel. Firefighters remained on scene conducting salvage & overhaul operations until 7:47 pm, and fire units were returned to service at 8:10 pm. The Seward County Fire Department provided mutual aid throughout the incident and with the vehicle fire at the Tucker Road location. Also assisting at the scene were Liberal Police Department, Seward County EMS, Liberal American Red Cross and private citizens providing drinks and food for responders.