Topeka fire crews battle apartment complex fire

A late night fire, from what officials believe was started by a barbecue grill, destroyed a building in an apartment complex in Southwest Topeka.

Firefighters started battling large flames last night right before 10 o’clock.
12 people were displaced. Fire officials are saying it all started because a barbecue smoker was too close to what they are calling combustible materials.

“I still feel miserable, because I’m putting people out of a home. But accidents happen,” said Devon Long, resident of the Pines apartments.

Devon Long says he is the reason 12 people are now without a home in the Pines Apartments.

“Honestly, i was more worried about the people that the fire that started at my place affected, because a lot of people that just got put out of a home for a while,” said Long.

Tuesday night he was asleep on the couch in his apartment.

“I woke up about 9:30- 9:45 to the pop of glass shattering, and I go out and my patio is in flames,” said Long.

Long says he tried to put out the flames but in a panic forgot where he put the fire extinguisher.

“I couldn’t breathe anymore so I had to get my dog and my cat and get out,” said Long.

His patio started the fire that spread through the rest of the complex.

“My grill, I put it out every night after I use it, but I guess I didn’t get everything out and the winds stirred up last night, that’s the best we can figure,” said Long.

Halfway through out interview, someone with the apartment complex came up and interrupted Long. Saying “we do not talk to the media” and we were asked to leave the property.

Everyone made it out of the complex safe – no one was injured. 

The fire department says they rescued several animals from the fire – three dogs, two cats and a bearded dragon.

We spoke with a few residents of the complex, they told me that the building has a lot of fire, smoke and water damage. Residents say they have been allowed to go inside the building to get their belongings.

In June of 2008, a fire at the apartment complex caused $1.6 million in damage. 10 apartments were destroyed and the cause of that fire was listed as ‘unattended cooking.’


An apartment fire started a little before 10 Tuesday night at The Pines Apartment complex.

Large flames could be seem coming from the building as crews arrived.

The fire spread fast due to heavy winds but crews were able to get it under control.

Ten apartments were affected by the fire but everyone made it out safely.

Fire officials said they did have to save some pets,  three dogs, two cats and a bearded dragon.

The fire  is being classified as an accident.  Officials  say it could have been a BBQ  grill.

The fire resulted in approximately 180 thousand dollars in damage.


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