Neighbors frustrated by vacant building near I-70, Van Brunt - KCTV5

Neighbors frustrated by vacant building near I-70, Van Brunt

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Fire crews spent hours Tuesday trying to put out a huge fire in a vacant building.  It happened at Interstate 70 and Van Brunt Boulevard. (Chopper5) Fire crews spent hours Tuesday trying to put out a huge fire in a vacant building. It happened at Interstate 70 and Van Brunt Boulevard. (Chopper5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Fire crews spent hours Tuesday trying to put out a huge fire in a vacant building.

It happened at Interstate 70 and Van Brunt Boulevard.

Neighbors say the building has been abandoned and been getting the wrong attention, drawing the homeless and troublemakers to the area. Now, with the fire, they’re hoping for some action.

"We had actually left to take my mom to work and when we came back, you could see the flames at the top of the building," neighbor Carlie Bogguess said.

Battalion Chief Hugh Oldman says firefighters saw light smoke coming from the building and responded. What they thought was a small fire, soon escalated.

"They were inside maybe about a minute and then had to evacuate and then that's when a second alarm was struck ... and we've been operating defensive mode ever since," Oldman said.

While nearly 50 firefighters worked to keep the fire under control, neighbors say they were in shock.

"It just kinda sat there. Everybody comes and goes, they come and they'll take like parts from the forklifts, stuff from inside. There's some fencing that they had taken down, homeless people come back and forth, but it being on fire, that was a big surprise," Bogguess said.

Now, they’re hoping to see the whole building taken down.

"The owner, they can't find him, so it's just sitting there, just attracts all the wrong people -- homeless people, people that just want to take stuff, just get rid of it," Bogguess said.

Crews were on scene for the fire for hours. The fire is under investigation.

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