Fire breaks out at the Top of the World

Grass fire erupts at top of the world hill during eclipse (Nathan Jones | Collegian Media Group)

A fire broke out Wednesday morning at Top of the World after individuals watching the lunar eclipse accidentally set off a fire, according to witnesses at the scene.

Kylie Kinley, an academic advisor at K-State, spotted the blaze while she was watching the eclipse this morning she saw a few fireworks and could hear “a pop and a flash”.

Ryan Spatz, sophomore in mechanical engineering, said as he was leaving the Top of the World when “some guys decided to light a firework”.

“I saw sparks in my rear view mirror and a couple of seconds later a hoard of people rushing toward a bunch of flames attempting to stomp it out,” Spatz said. “The wind then picked up and it literally spread like wildfire.”

Kinley said she called the fire department at 6:59 a.m and shortly after, a suburban vehicle from the fire department arrived on the scene and “a guy got out a fire extinguisher” and realized the fire was too big. Kinley said that as she was driving away, fire engines began showing up.

The Riley County Fire Department did not return a request for comment Wednesday.

My name is Kaylie McLaughlin and I'm the ex-managing editor and audience engagement manager of the Collegian. Previously, I've been the editor-in-chief and the news editor. In the past, I have also contributed to the Royal Purple Yearbook and KKSU-TV. Off-campus, you can find my bylines in the Wichita Eagle, the Shawnee Mission Post and KSNT News. I grew up just outside of Kansas City in Shawnee, Kansas. I’m a senior in digital journalism with a minor in French and a secondary focus in international and area studies. As a third-generation K-Stater, I bleed purple and my goal is to serve the Wildcat community with accurate coverage.