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Fire destroys building on the Boulevard

On Tuesday mid-afternoon, smoke filled the skyline on Kansas City westside neighborhood. A three-alarm fire at the former Friday’s Furniture Outlet store, a three story warehouse building.

Firefighters fought the blaze for hours. Close to 100 firemen poured water on the flames from mid afternoon to late in the evening. No one was in the building but firefighters had concerns that the building could collapse at any moment due to all the water being poured in putting out the blaze. The building appears to be a total loss and the Kansas City’s dangerous buildings unit are assessing the damage.

KCFD Chief Paul Berardi told Fox 4 News “the building’s owner said it is full of furniture, but while there will be a massive property loss, so far no injuries have been reported."

KCFD officials stated in a press release, “This is an ongoing investigation and the cause of the fire remains undetermined, but investigators are satisfied that there was no suspicious activity beforehand. The structure had sustained roof and water damage from last Saturday’s storm. Water damage related to the storm had already rendered the inventory a total loss; determination of loss related to the fire will accordingly focus solely on the structure itself.

Friday’s Furniture Outlet has a long history in the neighborhood and has occupied a building with an even longer history. The simultaneous loss of an established business and a historic structure is indeed tragic. However, fire officials said they are thankful there were no injuries to civilians or KCFD crews and no damage to neighboring businesses or structures.

"I praise the first arriving fire crews and Battalion Chief, who made excellent tactical and strategic decisions to fight this fire defensively and stop this fire in the building of origin," KCFD Chief Paul Berardi said. "The elevated heat index coupled to extreme radiant heat from the blaze made working conditions exhausting and potentially dangerous to firefighters. Firefighters were aggressive in their effort to ensure that loss was stopped at the involved structure. I am exceptionally proud of the commitment shown by KCFD’s Fire and EMS personnel to the protection of the public’s safety and livelihood, and thank them for their outstanding work throughout this incident."