Cass Plaza fire

Seniors were evacuated at the Cass Plaza Apartments in Logansport on the afternoon of Wednesday, Sept. 9 due to a fire in the building.

One person sustained injuries from a fire Wednesday afternoon at Cass Plaza Apartments. The victim was transported via Phoenix Ambulance to Logansport Memorial Hospital, where she was treated for smoke inhalation.

It was the second fire at the complex in the last six weeks.

At approximately 1:27 p.m., a report of a fire alarm going off at the apartment complex, which is an affordable living facility for seniors, had come through to the Logansport Fire Department [LFD]. However, at exactly that same time, they also were called to a different location that involved a reported fire. That call was, essentially, a false alarm.

Cass Plaza, though, was not a false alarm. However, because the department was split in both directions, only four firefighters arrived on scene at the apartments. Therefore, LFD Capt. Matthew Harris said the heavy lifting was carried out by the Logansport Police Department.

“We are so very thankful for them,” said Harris.

The fire was contained to one room on the southwest corner of the fourth floor. A mattress and pillow were engulfed, but the cause remains under investigation, said Harris. The fire investigator will conduct a thorough search of the premises to determine what started the fire.

Officers carried residents from their rooms to the hallway, where firefighters took over. According to Harris, the solid block-wall construction of the building provided support for the residents.

“The rooms are fire-retardant … people were smart, they took cover,” said Harris, explaining that firefighters used a “water can” to quickly extinguish the flames.

Large fans were set up in the hallways to blow out the smoke. Some residents were permitted to re-enter the building around 40 minutes after the fire was put out.

Fourth-floor resident Nancy Burns said the safety feature of the building was one reason she chose to live at the apartments.

“I could see the smoke and fire at the end of the hallway,” but she remained in a safe location until it was clear to head down the stairs, she said.

While residents here have had to battle the lack of an elevator for more than one week, Burns said it wouldn’t have mattered on Wednesday. After all, when a fire alarm is triggered, the elevators are locked.

Regardless, she hopes the elevator gets fixed soon.

Jamey Harper, Logansport Rental Property inspector, said she was informed by Cass Plaza that the elevator was supposed to have been repaired on Wednesday. But, residents may have to wait a little longer due to the fire, which was the second at the property within six weeks, said Burns.

“That’s why I was prepared. After the last time, which was on the second floor, I made sure I had my oxygen ready.”

Pointing to her black bag, she said the oxygen canister doesn’t get left far from her side at any point in the day.

Emergency crews with Phoenix Ambulance Service were glad to hear that as they walked the grounds, offering emergency care to those who required it. Other than fear of the events, residents were safe and unharmed.

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