Fire damages gym at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, no injuries reported
• Daily Leader staff report
A fire in the gymnasium summoned the Liberal Fire Department to St.Anthony’s Catholic Church Sunday afternoon. Although the gymnasium suffered extensive smoke, fire and heat damage, there were no injuries, according to LFD Chief Kelly Kirk.
“At 1:56 p.m. yesterday, the Liberal Fire Department was notified of a reported gymnasium fire at 1510 N. Calhoun Ave.,” Kirk said. “The first fire engine arrived on scene at 2:01 p.m. and reported heavy smoke issuing from the gymnasium at the St. Anthony’s Catholic Church building.”
With the aid of the Seward County Fire Department, the fire was under control in a short amount of time.
“An offensive attack was immediately initiated and mutual aid response was requested and received from the Seward County Fire Department,” Kirk said. “The bulk of the fire was discovered to be in the southeast corner of the gym, and was quickly knocked down. The fire was officially declared under control at 2:31 p.m.”
After the fire was extinguished, personnel remained on the scene in order to conduct an investigation into the cause of the fire.
“Fire units remained on scene conducting ventilation, salvage, overhaul and investigation efforts,” Kirk said. “The cause of the fire was ruled as accidental and was the result of a heat source too close to combustibles on a display table. The entire gymnasium suffered extensive fire, heat and smoke damage. The rest of the attached building, kitchen, stage and classrooms received minor to moderate smoke damage throughout. Damage estimates are unavailable at this time.”
According to Kirk, no injuries were sustained as a result of the fire. The Liberal Police Department and Seward County EMS were also available at the scene.
Kirk said a total of four fire units and 21 fire personnel were on the scene and returned to service at 4:51 p.m.