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Chemical Fire Damages a Lee’s Summit Business

                        

LEE'S SUMMIT, MO--On Wednesday, September 13, 2017, at 8:06 a.m. the Lee's Summit Fire Department responded to a reported structure fire at CK Enterprises, 1204 SW Jefferson. Callers reported heavy smoke and flames near the back of the building.

 

Heavy smoke was visible as crews began their response from the station and the incident was upgraded to a 2nd Alarm.

 

When the fire department arrived, heavy smoke and fire was coming from the northwest corner of the large manufacturing facility of commercial detergents and cleaning products. The building was being evacuated.

 

The fire was located in an outdoor bulk storage tank area next to the building that contained nine tanks of various sizes with the maximum amount of any tank being 6,000-gallons. Fire crews immediately went to a defensive attack on the fire; protecting the building and cooling the tanks in the area. The fire also spread to a nearby semi-tractor trailer and numerous empty storage drums.

 

Crews went into the metal building next to the fire to the assess conditions on the inside. There was no fire, but there was enough heat inside to cause two sprinkler heads next to the exterior wall to activate and help protect the wall. The approximately 60 employees in the building had been evacuated.

 

CK staff provided information to the fire department on the materials involved. It was reported that CK personnel were in the process of transferring approximately 1,000-gallons a mineral spirit based diesel fuel winterizing additive to a tank inside of the building when the fire started. One CK employee was injured and transported by ambulance to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

  

There were a number of different types of chemicals stored in the tanks. After evaluating the situation it was decided to allow the fire to burn while protecting exposures, allowing the hazards to be removed and limiting the amount run-off from the site. At approximately 9:20 a.m. the fire went out. Crews continued to cool the area and extinguish any flare ups. Hazmat crews continued to monitor the area for hazards.

 

Lee’s Summit Public Works was able to block a storm water detention pond north of the facility and contain any contaminated run-off from the site from firefighting operations.

 

As the fire burned, a large smoke plume rose above the area. A private school immediately south of the incident sheltered in place, while other schools nearby took precautions as needed if there was smoke in the area. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) was requested along with KCFD Hazmat to conduct air quality monitoring during the fire with no hazards found.

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and MDNR completed air and particulate sampling on and off-site after the fire, and found no hazards.

 

The fire heavily damaged the bulk storage tank facility and the exterior of the building. Heat and smoke damaged a portion of the interior of the building. The front half of the building was able to be reoccupied. Several vehicles in the parking lot near the fire were heat damaged.

 

Investigators from the Lee’s Summit Fire Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) are looking into the cause of the fire. The ATF was requested for the additional assistance and resources that it can provide for a commercial fire.

 

KCFD and Grandview Fire Department provided mutual aid assistance at the fire.

 

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