No one was hurt after a fire broke out in Building M of the Bluffs Apartments Thursday afternoon. The Junction City Fire Department, the Geary County Rural Fire Department, and Fort Riley Fire Station 5 rushed to the scene.
The fire was put out, according to Junction City Fire Chief Terry Johnson, before it could consume the building as past fires at the Bluffs have.
In April of 2016, the complex lost Building F and then in April of 2017, Building B was burned to the ground as well.
However, due to fast action by firefighters, the structure was saved.
“We hit it fast and hard,” Johnson said.
Response time, he said, was lower than it had been in the past —down to less than a minute — because the rescue truck, which was first on the scene, just happened to be in the area at the time the call went out.
“They were actually coming by the building at the time of the fire,” Johnson said.
The JCFD’s typical response time is about four minutes.
“It makes a huge difference when you have people on the ground evacuating,” he said. “A lot of the processes that we would have gone through in the first couple minutes on scene were already being done by the team. So it put us ahead of the ballgame … We were able to be proactive instead of reactive, as we usually have to be at a fire.”
As it stands, one apartment is a loss in the building is a total loss, two are heavily water damaged, and several others have light to medium water damage, he said — about six to eight in total. The other apartments in the building, which contains about 21 apartments, were unharmed.
Residents of Building M are currently waiting on the fire alarm system and the sprinkler system to be repaired before they can move back into the building.
According to Johnson, the fire is still under investigation at this time. At this time the cause is unknown.
All that is known is that the fire started outside, on the balcony of one of the units.
“We know the area that it started but we’re still investigating,” Johnson said.