Investigators determine cause of explosion, fire near Kansas Cit - KCTV5

Investigators determine cause of explosion, fire near Kansas City Ice Center and Ice Pavilion

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Crews were called about 5 a.m. Wednesday to a small utility building just north of the ice center located at 19900 Johnson Drive. (KCTV5) Crews were called about 5 a.m. Wednesday to a small utility building just north of the ice center located at 19900 Johnson Drive. (KCTV5)
SHAWNEE, KS (KCTV) -

Firefighters responded to an explosion and fire near the Kansas City Ice Center and Ice Pavilion on Wednesday morning.

Crews were called just before 5 a.m. Wednesday to a small detached maintenance building just north of the ice center located at 19900 Johnson Drive.

A maintenance worker reported hearing three loud booms before seeing flames coming from the building.

He then called 911 and entered the burning building to rescue his dogs, which was before the fire department arrived. 

Crews were ordered not to enter the building because it was unstable. Aerial devices and hose lines were used from the outside to control the fire. 

No damage was reported to the ice rink.

No injuries were reported.

Several competitive ice skaters arrived for practice as fire crews battled the flames. They were surprised to see police officers and firefighters at the rink.

“Kind of scary, driving down the hill up there because we saw the smoke,” said Rachael Johnson of Silverblades Figure Skating Club.

Competitive ice skating season is about to begin and the skaters say every practice counts.

For their own safety, crews waited for the walls of the building to be taken down before continuing their investigation. A construction company tore down what remained of the building at about 1 p.m.

Shawnee Fire Investigators waited until daylight to start investigating.

The Zamboni for the ice rink wasn't inside the detached building and didn't cause the fire. 

Investigators think a possible leak in a natural gas line that supplied the elevated space heaters caused the explosion and fire.

They do plan to investigate further. 

The skating rink was closed but was set to reopen on Thursday morning.

The total dollar loss is estimated to be $750,000. 

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