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August 13th, 2020

                                                                                                         ====JULY 31, 2012====

shelter insurance july newArea firefighters battle flames at three incidents Monday 

By KEELEY MOREE

  • Leader & Times 

Ignited gasoline vapors are believed to be the cause of a fire Monday afternoon which sent thick black smoke sailing over the south end of Liberal after a transmission shop was engulfed in flames.

Liberal Fire Department crews arrived on the scene at 4:41 p.m. to find flames and thick smoke shooting out the rear garage door of Mata Automatic Transmission at 335 S. Virginia. All occupants in the garage had safely evacuated before the fire went on to ignite several explosions caused by six vehicles parked inside. The garage also contained large amounts of petroleum products and pressurized containers which sent firefighters on a defensive attack against the dangerous fire. 

In the end, the building and its contents were determined to be a total loss.

Three fire engines and 18 personnel spent several hours containing the fire and conducting salvage and overhaul operations at the scene. Assisting with the fire were the Seward County Fire Department, the Liberal Police Department, Seward County EMS, the Liberal American Red Cross, and private citizens who provided food and drinks for responders.

While emergency responders tended to the fire on South Virginia, members of the Seward County Fire Department also assisted in fighting a vehicle fire at 250 E. Tucker Rd. 

Monday proved to be a long day for area firefighters, as 13 personnel from the Liberal Fire Department had also been involved in a residential fire earlier Monday morning at 715 S. Lincoln Ave.

Arriving units at 12:52 a.m. found heavy smoke and flames near the rear of a two-story residential dwelling. The residence was unoccupied at the time of the fire, which is believed to have been started as a result of combustible material being too close to a heat source. 

Crews contained the fire within 45 minutes, but by then flames and smoke had destroyed the second story and the first floor suffered extensive smoke and water damage. Assisting crews from the Liberal Fire Department were members of the Liberal Police Department, Seward County EMS, the Seward County Sherriff’s office and the Liberal American Red Cross. 

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