Large Fire in Johnson County Reported
The Johnson County Emergency Management Agency reported a large fire on the north side of 50 Highway in the area of NW 50 highway and NW 121 road impacting westbound lanes.
A facebook post was made around 10:12 a.m. Friday.
Please avoid the area if possible, JoCo EMA said.
According to the Johnson County Fire Protection District:
"Multiple JCFPD stations and mutual aid assistance from the Warrensburg Fire Department are currently battling a large commercial structure fire along 50 Highway just west of Warrensburg. Fire has spread to natural cover along 50 Highway. Water is being hauled to the scene. Avoid the area and give personnel space to work."
Four JCFPD stations were assigned to the commercial structure fire located at 111 NW 121 Road which is "Wildscapes LLC."
The Warrensburg Fire Department assisted at the scene with a ladder truck. JCFPD #2 has cleared but assisted with a tanker to assist with the water shuttle. Tankers shuttled water to the scene from Warrensburg.
Investigators with the Missouri State Fire Marshal and Johnson County Fire Investigation Unit arrived at the scene to investigate the origin and cause of the fire.
The official press release from JCFPD reads as follows:
A nearly 100-year-old commercial building housing Wildscapes, a masonry, landscape, fireplace, and building supply business located along US 50 Highway, just west of Warrensburg was engulfed in flames Friday morning.
The fire was reported at 9:45 a.m., and according to multiple witness reports, engulfed the entire large commercial structure within mere minutes.
Johnson County Fire Protection District personnel arrived at the business four minutes after being dispatched and found the business fully involved in flames.
Due to the wind and dry weather conditions, the fire quickly spread into the median of US 50 Highway and into a field on the opposite side of the four-lane highway from the business. A power pole, located across the highway, also burned. Two additional structures at the business were not damaged by the fire.
Four District stations were assigned to the incident. “We quickly depleted the resources of one-third of our District,” said Captain Joe Jennings. “Two of our stations from Warrensburg responded and we also pulled personnel from our stations in Centerview and Knob Noster to assist.”
Mutual aid was received from the Warrensburg Fire Department, who responded with their ladder truck, as well as Johnson County Fire Protection District #2, who responded with a tanker to assist with hauling water to the scene..
Due to the rural location of the business, water had to be transported to the scene. Five total tankers were utilized and as of 5:30 p.m., had hauled approximately 120,000 gallons of water to the scene from a water source inside of Warrensburg.
“Due to the size of the building and the fire involvement, the smoke crossing 50 Highway limiting visibility for traffic, and the fire spreading across the highway from the business, law enforcement was requested to assist with controlling traffic on the highway,” said Jennings.
“The Missouri State Highway Patrol, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, and Warrensburg Police Department all assisted along 50 Highway to slow traffic down and stop traffic as we were constantly hauling water into the scene. When we have constant civilian traffic through a massive active fire scene as well as our constant apparatus movement while bringing water in, we end up with an even more dangerous situation.”
Three employees were in the business at the time the fire was discovered and all three exited the building and were not injured.
As of 5:30 p.m., one firefighter was transported from the scene by ambulance to a local hospital for treatment of medical needs. Three firefighters were evaluated by medical personnel at the scene but not transported.
“The firefighter transported by ambulance is in stable condition and is expected to recover,” said Jennings.
The Missouri State Fire Marshal’s Office and the Johnson County Fire Investigation Unit, which consisted of fire investigators from the Warrensburg Fire Department and University of Central Missouri Department of Public Safety, responded to investigate the origin and cause of the fire.
The investigation is ongoing, and a cause has not been determined as of this release.
The firefighter transported by ambulance from the scene Friday was released from the hospital Saturday afternoon and is expected to recover and return to duty soon.