On July 12, at approximately 4:45 am, the Pittsburg Fire Department responded to a structure fire at 1401 N. Broadway Street – the office of Pitt Realty.
While en route to the scene, fire personnel observed flames and heavy smoke rising high above the location. Upon arrival, personnel witnessed a large roll-off dumpster fully engulfed in flames. The fire from the dumpster then set fire to the roof of the building.
As firefighters began their initial attack, they observed the building’s interior through an open overhead door on the south side of the structure. From that vantage point, they witnessed the inside of the building erupt into flames. The fire department’s official report noted that the door was open upon arrival.
As firefighters attempted to attack the fire through the open door, a power line caught fire, sparked, and dropped to the ground. Firefighting operations were slowed due to the electrical hazard. Westar Energy was called to cut off power to the pole. Additional fire personnel had to be called in to provide assistance.
Broadway traffic was barricaded between 11th Street and 14th Street for several hours, while firefighters continued to put out the blaze and keep it from spreading to nearby businesses and homes. Dispatch contacted the building owner and Kansas Gas Service. The City of Pittsburg Public Utilities Department was also called and notified about the volume of water being used to extinguish the fire.
The fire department’s report noted that the majority of the roof collapsed as they fought the fire. Firefighters continued to attack the flames and address several hot spots while the second shift was brought in to transfer operations. Fire personnel on the second shift were able to get the fire under control and put out the hot spots that remained. Shingles were removed from the north side of the building where the roof was still intact. Crews then worked to clean up the debris.
Damage to the structure was extensive. No injuries were reported, as the building was vacant at the time of the fire. Officials from the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office are conducting the investigation. The cause of the fire remains undetermined at this time.