1 firefighter still in hospital, 2 released following pallet business blaze

Three firefighters were taken to the hospital Thursday afternoon following their response to a massive blaze in east Kansas City. One remained admitted, as of Friday morning.

Their injuries were from smoke inhalation, heat exhaustion and minor burns.

As of 9 a.m. Friday morning, firefighters were still targeting hot spots at a pallet factory that caught fire shortly Thursday afternoon in the East Bottoms. According to the Kansas City Fire Department, flames erupted nearly 100 feet in the air and could be seen over five miles away. Temperatures peaked over 3,000 degrees.

The fire department stated the fire continued to build because the flames caught wood pallets at the building. There was also a propane tank on the site, but firefighters contained the fire from reaching that area. First responders said the flames were so hot it felt like a sunburn and tires on the fire trucks melted. Residents in the area were ultimately evacuated and many described the scene as nothing they had ever witnessed.

“I’ve never experienced anything like this before, so it as quite the experience,” said Lynn Glavin, who was in an office next to the pallet factory. “They asked us to move because the heat was getting very intense.”

Three firefighters were taken to the hospital and 10 others were treated for burns on sight. All are expected to make full recoveries. No one was inside the building when it caught on fire.

A ladder truck and a pumper truck sustained damage from the fire. Officials stated about 1.5 million gallons of water were used to fight the flames.

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