KCFD responds to fire in 3600 block of Independence Ave.

Kansas City Fire Department (KCFD) crews worked quickly to extinguish a fire in a commercial building in the 3600 block of Independence Avenue this morning.

At this time, there are no injuries reported. Occupants of the building, which includes a Pachuda’s Africa Hair Braiding, Dirty Dogs in the Tub, Super Taco and others, evacuated on their own.

“We’re not going to have a lot of information right now, but right now looks like fire’s confined to this area right here where the Dirty Dogs in the Tub is,” Assistant Fire Chief Jimmy Walker said, gesturing to the upstairs center section of the building. “We did have fire on the first floor and we had some to the roof, so not sure where the fire started yet, we don’t know a cause.”

The rest of the building remains closed to entry. At this time, it is unknown if there are working smoke detectors in the building.

“I haven’t checked on smoke damage on either side, but there could be some smoke damage,” Walker said. “They broke the window on that, best way to figure out where it is, you know, these buildings are a hard challenge because we have to get into them.”

The fire was dispatched as regular commercial building response.

“Anytime we have a commercial building or an apartment building, we send extra resources,” Walker said. “Our initial response time was fast, 23’s got here lickety split.”

When crews arrived on the scene, there was smoke showing from the eaves. Firefighters punched holes in the roof, and found flames in the ceiling.

Regina Wan of Pachuca’s, said she and her co-workers smelled smoke and decided to evacuate. They are all physically okay, but frustrated with the amount of fires that have happened in the building in recent months.

She thinks the fire started upstairs in another business, and initially went to check her microwave when she smelled smoke. Now, she’s left hoping there’s not too much damage.

Charlie Aiello, an enthusiastic supporter of the fire department, arrived on the scene shortly after fire crews. He first noticed the rolling smoke, then the smell.

“They do an excellent job, they do an outstanding job,” Aiello said of the crews he knows as friends. “They’re out here fighting fires in any kind of elements or weather, hot, cold, snow, they’re out here – especially the pumpers and paramedics – taking care of the sick and injured.”

More information will be available as KCFD inspectors complete their investigation. For now, all businesses remain closed.

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