At  4:36 am Sunday, Liberal firefighters were dispatched to the area of the 1100 block of N. Roosevelt for what was initially reported as a shed fire behind a residence.  First arriving responders as well as additional 911 callers confirmed that the fire was actually a well involved residential structure fire at 1120 N. Carlton.

First arriving units began attacking main body of the fire in an enclosed patio room on the rear of the home.  They quickly discovered that the fire had extended through the eaves into the attic space as well as through windows into both the kitchen and laundry room.   Additional fire crews made entry from the front of the residence and began fighting fire in two rooms of the home.  Mutual aid for this fire was requested from Seward County Fire & Rescue.  They responded with additional apparatus and personnel to assist with firefighting operations.  The fire was declared under control at 6:08 am.  Firefighters remained on scene until 9:38 am locating and extinguishing fire in wall spaces, the attic and roof of the home.  Firefighting efforts were made more difficult by the freezing temperatures which created slippery conditions and caused hoses, nozzles and pumps to begin icing very rapidly.  The fire is believed to be accidental in nature and is caused by a space heater operating too close to combustible materials in the patio room.

The home was occupied by three adult occupants and their pets at the time of the fire.  An adult female occupant stated that she was awakened by noise and smelled smoke.  On investigation she discovered the room on the back of the house fully engulfed in flames.  She awakened the other two occupants and they narrowly escaped as flames began entering through the window into the kitchen.  All were able to escape safely and were examined at the scene by Seward County EMS for smoke inhalation.  Four of the family’s pet cats perished in the fire.  The American Red Cross responded to provide assistance to the family.

Liberal Fire responded with a total of 17 personnel and two engines.  Seward County Fire provided seven personnel and two engines.  Also assisting at the scene were the Liberal Police Department, Seward County EMS, American Red Cross, Liberal Water Department, Liberal Street Department, Southern Pioneer Electric & Black Hills Energy.

 
 
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At  09:31 am  Wednesday, Liberal firefighters were dispatched to 1021 N. Pershing for a report of smoke in the residence.  First arriving units at  9:33 am reported light smoke inside the home and smoke pushing from the North side eaves and attic area.  Four occupants were at home when the fire was discovered, one adult and three children.  All were able to escape safely.  Firefighters established protective positions inside the home and began opening the exterior wall to access the main body of the fire.  The fire was quickly extinguished and was declared under control at 9:53 am.  Firefighters had to conduct a considerable overhaul process due to the fire burning deep into the structural members of the wall, attic and floor space.  The fire is believed to be accidental and electrical in nature.

The fire department responded with a total of 13 personnel and two engines.  Also assisting at the scene were the Liberal Police Department, Seward County EMS, American Red Cross, Liberal Water Department, Liberal Street Department, Liberal Building Department, Southern Pioneer Electric & Black Hills Energy.  All units were cleared from the scene at 10:58 am and fully returned to service at 11:00 am.


 
 
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At 09:06 am Saturday, Liberal firefighters were dispatched to 544 S. Pennsylvania for a reported fire in the bathroom of the residence.  First arriving units at 9:10 am reported heavy smoke from the Southwest corner of the home.  Six adult occupants had awakened to find smoke inside the home and were able to escape uninjured.  Firefighters made entry through the front door and were able to quickly extinguish the fire located in a bedroom and bathroom.  The fire was declared under control at 9:23 am.  Electric, Natural Gas and Water utilities were turned off to the residence due to heavy fire damage.  Firefighters had a lengthy overhaul checking for fire extension and extinguishing hidden pockets of fire due to an addition that had been constructed onto the original residence.

The fire originally started in the bathroom and spread outward into an adjacent bedroom.  It is believed to be accidental and electrical in nature.  The fire department responded with a total of 13 personnel and two engines.  Also assisting at the scene were the Liberal Police Department, Seward County EMS, American Red Cross, Liberal Water Department, Southern Pioneer Electric & Black Hills Energy.  All units were cleared from the scene at 10:44 am and fully returned to service at 11:15 am.


 
 
Sex offense investigation

On Tuesday, November 14, 2017, a Liberal High School administrator contacted the Liberal Police Department regarding an allegation of inappropriate touching of students by a faculty member.  Two female student athletes had reported their track coach, Tyson McGuire, had touched them inappropriately at separate times while treating them for sports related injuries.  The school placed Mr. McGuire on leave immediately pending investigation of the allegations.  

Liberal Police Department investigators commenced an investigation.  Following the investigation, an affidavit of probable cause was submitted to the Seward County Attorney’s Office for review of potential criminal charges.

On Thursday, December 7, 2017, Tyson McGuire was arrested without incident pursuant to an arrest warrant filed in Seward County District Court.  He was booked into the Seward County Jail for rape and sexual battery with a $50,000.00 cash or surety bond.



 
 
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Non-injury Accident

On Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at about 4:45 p.m., emergency responders were dispatched to the intersection of Kansas Avenue and Tucker Road for a reported traffic accident.  Responding officers found two vehicles were involved.

Investigating officers found that a 42 year old female was driving a 2013 Ford Edge.  The vehicle was turning left to go west on Tucker Road from Kansas Avenue.  A 26 year old male was driving a 2016 Cadillac Escalade south on Kansas Avenue when it was struck by the Ford Edge in the intersection.  Both drivers stated a paint striping vehicle obstructed the view of the intersection.

No injuries were reported.  Both vehicles were towed from the scene because of functional damage.