May 21, 2024

Fire at National Beef in Liberal on Wednesday night

Liberal, Kan. (–Just before 10 pm Wednesday, Liberal fire units were dispatched to 1501 E. 8th Street (National Beef Packing Company) for a reported box trailer on fire. Police officers were the first to arrive on scene and relayed that multiple trailers were involved and that the fire had spread to the adjoining building as well.

Fire units arrived to find a well-advanced fire involving four box trailers and two container trailers. Also involved was the multi-story boxed beef storage and load out building. Plant representatives were able to confirm that all employees were safely exited and accounted for.
Firefighters immediately began operating on the fire with two engines supplying multiple 1 ¾” & 2 ½” lines. The aerial platform was deployed and multiple water supply lines were established. Mutual aid was immediately requested and provided by the Seward County Fire Department. The firefighting operations were conducted with interior, exterior and elevated crews for quite some time. As some degree of control on the fire was gained, the aerial platform was repositioned and plant personnel utilized yard trucks to move several of the smoldering trailers away from the building. At this point firefighters were able to more aggressively attack and extinguish both the building and trailer fires. Throughout the operation, emergency responders coordinated closely with plant officials to secure the power supply, keep informed of key building features and potential hazards and provide specialized heavy equipment. The fire was officially declared under control at 1:06 a.m.
The building suffered significant fire damage on the exterior as well as some interior damage localized around the overhead doors of the loading docks. The trailers were believed to be total losses along with their contents. Assistance with the investigation of the fire was requested from the Office of the Kansas State Fire Marshal. The area of fire origin has been determined with reasonable certainty. The exact cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Liberal Fire responded with 21 personnel, two engines, one ladder truck & four utility & chief officer vehicles. Seward County Fire Department responded with nine personnel and five apparatus. Other response agencies assisting with the fire are the Liberal Police Department, Seward County EMS, Seward County Emergency Management and the Liberal / Seward County Emergency Communications Center.