UPDATE: Fire destroys building, damages nearby businesses

Fire crews from Elwood, St. Joseph, Wathena, Troy and Rosecrans all responded to a structure fire in Wathena, Kansas, Sunday afternoon.

Posted: Dec 1, 2019 3:08 PM
Updated: Dec 1, 2019 11:26 PM

(WATHENA, Ks.) Fire crews from Elwood, St. Joseph, Wathena, Troy and Rosecrans all responded to a structure fire in Wathena, Kansas, Sunday afternoon. 

It happened at a building located on the 300 block of Main Street in downtown Wathena. Fire Departments were battling the blaze from 12:30 p.m. until about 4 o'clock that evening.

The Elwood Fire Department said it was a vacant building. The structure collapsed and was completely destroyed while businesses on either side of the building sustained significant smoke and water damage.

Officials said multiple people were evacuated from apartments located on top of one of the structure's neighboring buildings, and the Red Cross is assisting those who have extensive water and smoke damage in their homes. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire remained undetermined as it's still under investigation.

The City of Wathena posted on their Facebook page alerting residents that the 300 block of Main Street will be closed until further notice. City officials said they hope to get the westbound lanes open by Monday but said the eastbound lanes will be closed for several days, and ask that drivers be patient. 

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Lots of sunshine across the area today with temperatures warming into the mid 60s. Tomorrow will be a similar day with highs warming into the mid to upper 60s. Cloud will start to build into the area late Thursday night into Friday morning. Rain chances will start to increase early Friday morning with scattered showers likely for the first half of the day on Friday. Several more rounds of rain are likely this weekend as highs warm into the low to mid 70s. A few thunderstorms are possibly as well but severe weather is not likely at this time. Rainfall could be moderate to heavy at times. Rain chances and warm temperatures are set to continue into next week. Friday through Monday most areas could see around 1.5 to 2.5 inches of rain totals.
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