The first shift of firefighters with the Independence Fire Department were called out Sunday evening about 7:13 p.m. to 517 W. Chestnut St., where the first floor of an unoccupied house was full involved with fire. 

IFD Chief Shawn Wallis said dispatch advised the house was occupied. "When Independence Police Department officers arrived on scene first they were advised by bystanders they heard someone screaming for help," Wallis explained. "An attempt was made by officers to check for victims but the fire was too intense to make entry."

Wallis said it was determined the house was unoccupied by the owner. "We arrived on scene to a two-story family dwelling with heavy fire venting out of the west and north doors of the residence with fire showing on the second floor," he noted. Crews initiated an aggressive attack and entry was made to search the house.

"We had the fire under control at approximately 7:50 p.m.," he said. 

Independence Fire-EMS responded to the blaze with two trucks and a ladder, and Cherryvale Fire-EMS assisted with four firefighters to help battle the blaze which quickly engulfed the second floor.

After the fire was knocked down, IFD crews performed overhaul to search for, and extinguish, hot spots. There were no utilities connected at the residence.

"The fire is currently under investigation by the IPD Detective Division and the Kansas State fire Marshal's Office," Wallis concluded.