TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topeka Fire officials say an electrical failure, possibly caused by using multiple space heaters, is what sparked a fire in central Topeka Wednesday.
Crews were dispatched around 1:15 pm to a house fire at 1244 SW Garfield. The two and a half story structure, a home broken into multiple apartments, was "fully involved" in flames when crews arrived. Heavy smoke could be seen coming from a second floor apartment.
Two adults and two children in the structure made it out safely before crews arrived on scene. There was some concern one more person might be trapped inside, but a search turned up no one and all residents were soon accounted for.
As crews fought the fire, the roof of the home collapsed. A family cat escaped the incident by jumping from a broken window and running down a tree outside.
Fire crews worked the blaze from inside and outside. Some firefighters entered the home on foot and an aerial truck was used to hoist crews by ladder to an outside attack location.
Fire officials say crews quickly put out the fire, but they did encounter some challenges in gaining access to the tighter quarters of the home's third floor.
The home suffered extensive fire and smoke damage throughout, with the dollar loss adding up to nearly $50,000 to the structure and contents.
The local Red Cross chapter said it is assisting three families totaling 12 people with immediate financial needs and hotel rooms.