Monday night at the Great Bend City Council meeting, Great Bend Fire Chief Luke McCormick briefed the council on a busy Sunday night shift the night before.
McCormick told the council the department’s B shift responded to not one, but two, house fires Sunday night and early Monday morning.
“To have one working structure fire in a 24-hour period is a busy shift, but to have two working structure fires is rare,” McCormick said.
The first fire was reported at 228 Chestnut St. at approximately 8:40 p.m. Sunday. McCormick said when fire crews arrived, they found a single-wide trailer house that was fully involved in flames, with the flames showing through the roof. Fire crews were quickly able to contain the fire to that structure and they remained on scene for approximately two hours extinguishing hot spots.
While crews were on scene, McCormick said the department was notified that one patient had been transported by private vehicle to the hospital with injuries from that fire.
Then, at about 1:17 a.m. Monday morning, B shift received the second call and was dispatched to a second house fire in the 1600 block of Broadway, where two victims were trapped in the residence. When crews arrived, they found the front room fully engulfed. They entered and found the two victims inside. Both were rescued, then transported to The University of Kansas Health System - Great Bend Campus by Great Bend EMS with unspecified injuries.
After investigation, McCormick said the cause of both fires was deemed to be accidental in nature. The Chestnut Street fire was due to electrical issues and the Broadway Avenue fire was deemed to be either due to electrical or discarded smoking material.
Firefighters were assisted by the Great Bend Police Department and the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office.
With temperatures hovering in the teens at the time of the two fires, McCormick offered special commendation to his crews for their exceptional work.
“I just want to do a special thanks to my team and my staff for all the hard work that they did,” he said. “Temperatures were against them and to have two structure fires in one evening is daunting in itself.”