Fire destroys Chanute apartment complex

One fatality has been reported from an overnight fire that destroyed Chanute's Cornerstone Apartment Complex. Fire crews from Chanute, Iola, Parsons and Thayer were called to extinguish the blaze.

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Local News

March 21, 2024 - 9:29 AM

A fire broke out at 1:20 a.m. Thursday at the Cornerstone apartments in Chanute. By 8 a.m., it was a charred ruins. Photo by PHOTO COURTESY OF SANDY HEFFERNON

Updated at 2:32 p.m.

CHANUTE — One person has died and several were hurt when an early morning fire gutted a Chanute apartment complex, according to Chanute officials.

The first fire alarm sounded at 1:22 a.m. Thursday at the Cornerstone Apartment Complex, 1610 W. 4th St., according to a joint press release from the City of Chanute and its police and fire departments. 

The south side of the 24-unit building was fully engulfed in flames with fire coming through the roof when firefighters arrived. Police immediately began evacuating the building.

The entire complex sustained damage throughout. 

Crews from Iola, Parsons and Thayer fire departments assisted in battling the blaze. 

Iola Fire Chief Corey Isbell said four IFD personnel were summoned, utilizing the city’s ladder truck and an ambulance stationed in Humboldt.

Isbell said the Humboldt ambulance was not needed to transport patients.

The Iola crews returned at 5:30 a.m.

The number and extent of injuries has yet to be announced.

THE APARTMENTS are owned by Premier Real Estate Management, based in Brookfield, Wis.

Emergency crews remain at the scene Thursday morning at an apartment complex destroyed by an overnight fire. Injuries have been reported and residents displaced.Photo by Richard Luken / Iola Register

Casey Duffey, company president, said Thursday morning that the complex had been fully occupied. The facility has a mixture of two- and three-bedroom units.

“We don’t know anything yet about the cause. It’s very, very unfortunate,” Duffey said. 

The building had sprinkler systems, fire alarms and smoke detectors, which apparently all functioned, Duffey said.

Duffey estimated the building was about 15 years old.

The Chanute Fire Department remained on the scene as of Thursday afternoon, along with  the ATF and Kansas Fire Marshal’s office as they investigate the origin.

The Sedgwick County Fire District 1, sent a team including a K-9 to help with the investigation.

The Red Cross has set up a shelter at Chanute’s Central Park pavilion, 101 S. Forest, to aid those in need of shelter or other assistance. 

Clothing and other donations are being accepted at Chanute’s Consignment Store at 109 E. Main St.

The Nazarene Church at 1621 W. 14th is accepting donations of household goods, personal care hygiene items, etc. The church will assist in dispersing the items.

Neosho County Emergency Management said officials are still working out how people can donate money for the victims.

The Chanute Public Library is offering free printing and faxes for those who need to submit insurance claims or reclaim vital documents, like birth certificates or marriage licenses, as a result of fire.

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