A blaze broke out Thursday at the Barclay Club Apartments at 3820 N.W. Barry Road, Kansas City, North, causing extensive smoke and fire damage.
Residents were able to escape, but four firefighters suffered minor ankle, back and shoulder injuries. The injured firefighters were treated at a nearby hospital, said Kansas City Fire Department Battalion Chief Germane Friends.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, Friends said.
The fire was reported just after 10 a.m. When firefighters arrived, smoke and flames were coming from a second-floor apartment. Strong winds whipped the flames and caused them to spread to the third floor and across the roof of an adjoining building, Friends said.
About 80 firefighters used three aerial ladders to help douse the flames. It took about 45 minutes to bring the blaze under control, Friends said.
About 36 units were damaged.
Resident Susan Hagen said she heard fire alarms and other residents pounding on apartment doors. When she opened her door, smoke drifted inside.
Hagen said she grabbed her belongings and ran out.
"Flames were so high, they were way over the roof," she said. "This is my worst fear."
Lindsey Deegan said she was awakened by the sound of a fire alarm in her apartment. Deegan, an 18-year-old Park University student, said she grabbed her jacket and cell phone and ran out.
Deegan, who stood outside in her bare feet, said she was in such a hurry to flee that she did not realize her roommate's puppy was still inside. She was crying because she thought Zoey, the chocolate Labrador retriever, had died in the blaze.
About an hour after the blaze was extinguished, a firefighter emerged from the building cuddling Zoey .
The apartments had working fire alarms and sprinkler systems. Friends said the sprinkler systems prevented the fire from spreading.
The fire caused about $350,000 damage to the structure and $150,000 damage to the contents. Twelve apartment units were declared a total loss, Friends said.
The American Red Cross and the apartment complex management are assisting the displaced residents, he said.
Distributed by the Associated Press