Twenty-five units from the Wichita Fire Department responded to the call of a building fire at 11:28 p.m. on Monday at 1019 S. McLean, Metal Improvement Company. Several employees escaped the building as the fire grew in a metal treatment area of the business. First arriving WFD crews reported smoke showing with heavy fire involvement at the rear of the building. Defensive operations were initiated due to possible hazardous chemicals involved and several large explosions within the building. Hazardous Materials Team members worked with employees of the business to identify and mitigate on-going hazards during the incident. WFD crews stayed on the scene overnight to monitor the situation, though the fire itself was controlled in about thirty minutes of the initial units arriving on the scene.
The Fire Investigation Unit determined the fire originated in the rear portion of the building. According to employees there was an overflow of lubricant that came in contact with other materials in the area. This contact resulted in a chemical reaction fire. The fire grew rapidly due to a large volume of lubricants being present in the area. Fire damage was estimated at $100,000 to the structure and $50,000 loss to the contents.