Improper disposal of smoking materials has been determined to be the cause of a fire that caused extensive damage to a Salina truck stop facility.
According to the Salina Fire Department, cigarettes being discarded near a storage shed containing flammable liquid are the cause of the fire.
The shed caught fire, and despite employee efforts to fight it, the fire spread to the outside of the Huddle House restaurant, which is connected to a convenience store that comprises the Flying J Travel Plaza.
The entire facility, which is located north of Salina at North Ohio Street and Interstate 70, sustained major damage.
UPDATE: The Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office was responding to a large fire at a truck stop north of Salina late Wednesday afternoon.
Salina Fire Marshal Roger Williams told KSAL News at the scene that crews were called at around 12:30 in the afternoon Wednesday to the report of a fire at the Huddle House restaurant, which is connected to the Flying J Travel Plaza on north Ohio Street near Interstate 70.
Williams says that a fire that started on the outside of the building made it up a wall, and into an attic shared by both businesses. It spread through the attic, and burned through the roof.
Employees had exited, and shut off the nearby gas pumps, as first responders arrived. The first crews on the scene made entry into the building, but had to pull out as the fire spread into the attic and roof.
It turned into a four-alarm fire for the Salina Fire Department, the most serious. Crews and equipment from every fire station responded, while off duty firefighters were called in to man the stations and keep the city protected.
Williams estimated that there were about 35 firefighters on the scene from the Salina Fire Department, along with firefighters and equipment from at least two rural fire districts, including RFD 7 and RFD 5.
An employee at the scene told KSAL News that at least two other employees workers suffered some smoke inhalation. Williams says no one was transported to the hospital.
The North Central Kansas Chapter of the American Red Cross responded to the scene to provide aid to the firefighters, including food and drink.
Williams says the fire started outside the building, in the area of a shed where flammable liquids were stored. It was too soon to determine an exact cause. He added that the state fire marshal’s office was responding to help in the investigation.
Williams says that it appeared the entire facility was going to be a total loss.
ORIGINAL: Salina Firefighters are battling a large fire at a he Flying J Travel Center .
Crews were called just after 12:30. The fire was in the Huddle House restaurant portion of the facility, but spread to the roof.
At least two employees were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. Salina Fire Marshal Roger Wilkiams says no one was transported to the hospital.
We are on the scene and will continue to update as we get details.