Prospect Avenue Building Burns

Michael Bushnell
Northeast News
Feb. 26, 2016

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KANSAS CITY, Missouri —An art project is to blame for yesterday’s building fire.

The former Sun Auto Sales building at 800 Prospect Ave., was the scene of a two alarm fire last Thursday afternoon that ultimately consumed the entire building. The cause for the blaze was an art project gone awry. Randy Stemper, an artist with a second floor studio in the building, said he was trying to make coal for an art project when the coal fell to the floor. When he tried to throw a nearby gas can off the balcony, he said it hit a pallet and the fire erupted after that. Everyone inside the building escaped without any injuries.

Dozens of firefighters responded to the scene around 4 p.m. and were greeted by flames shooting up through the roof of the two-story building on the north side. Gaining entry to the structure, however, was difficult as the front and back doors were padlocked and there was razor wire along the roof of the building. KCFD finally gained access through windows and a second floor back porch area. Firefighters aggressively attacked the fire, bringing it under control within about 40 minutes of being on the scene.

At least one firefighter was injured at the scene after he fell down some stairs. His condition is not believed to be serious. The fire scene is a scant two blocks away from the tragic October 12, 2015, fire that claimed the lives of two Kansas City firefighters.

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