Updated: Friday, March 15, at 7:25 a.m.
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The Hutchinson Fire Department responded to 134 E. Sherman for a commercial fire just before 11:30 p.m. Thursday.
First arriving fire units found heavy fire showing from the second floor of the Foundation of Life Ministries church. The fire was reported by an alert Hutchinson police officer patrolling the area. The fire quickly spread despite aggressive interior tactics by first-arriving firefighters. Two buildings suffered extensive damage. A third building, owned by Electrex, was threatened during the height of the incident. That building suffered only minor damage because of extensive efforts by firefighters.
The fire department operated eight engines and three ladder trucks with 40 firefighters. At the height of the fire, approximately 7,000 gallons of water per minute were utilized to fight the fire and contain it to the building of origin. Hutchinson was assisted with a ladder truck from McPherson and an engine from South Hutchinson. Reno County Fire District #3 and Pretty Prairie Fire provided engines to cover the city as all on-duty firefighters were working the fire.
Crews continue to soak down numerous hot spots and will continue to be on scene throughout the day. A notification has been made to the State Fire Marshal’s office and Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms as standard protocol for church fires.
Many streets remain closed in the area. Fire officials are asking pedestrian traffic to stay out of the area. Poplar Street is closed from 1st Avenue to Avenue A, 1st Avenue is closed from Poplar Street to Walnut Street, Walnut Street is closed from 1st Avenue to Sherman Avenue, and Sherman Avenue is closed from Main Street to Poplar Street.
HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Authorities are working to determine the cause of a large fire at Foundation of Life Ministries church in Hutchinson early Friday.
Crews from multiple agencies responded to the fire just before midnight at 134 East Sherman Street, according to a social media report from the Hutchinson Fire Department. There are no injuries reported.
Update: all crews working. Heavy fire still showing. pic.twitter.com/A7JzZOAAXW
— Hutchinson Fire Dept (@Hutchinson_Fire) March 15, 2019
The Kansas Fire Marshal’s office and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will begin their investigation later Friday morning.
Streets near Sherman and Poplar are closed and officials ask that drivers avoid the area.
Check back for more information on the story as it becomes available.