It was a deadly, two alarm fire, firefighters said could have been even worse.Those firefighters, police, and alert residents all acted as heroes and saved lives as flames swept through a Hazelwood apartment building just before midnight Saturday.“They were jumping out that window and then people were also jumping out that window,” said neighbor Jermaine Adams, who helped rescue residents before authorities arrived at the 10 unit building in the 5200 block of Ville Rosa.
He said he caught one of three people who jumped from the third floor. He also suffered a minor burn to his hand after he jumped into a basement apartment to get another resident out.“I helped him out the bottom because he was stuck. I went to go open the door, flames just blew straight past me; like the building, the top of the thing was falling, that’s how my hand got burnt and everything. It was crazy,” Adams said.
“The interior stairwell for 1,2, & 3 floors was fully involved upon our arrival,” said Battalion Chief Dan Hoguet of the Robertson Fire Protection District.He said firefighters and Hazelwood Police rescued 5 people from the building’s 3rd floor; same unit, same family, nearly hanging out of a window, as far from the flames as they could get.“We were able to use a 35 foot ground ladder, place it to the window, break the window and carry the victims to the ladder,” Hoguet said.
Along with the neighbors, firefighters credited a member of that family they rescued: a boy, who during the scariest of moments, kept his calm, and did something simple, that turned out to be a life-saver.“If it wasn’t for the 10 year old boy closing the door to the apartment, it probably would have been a lot worse. Due to his actions, he absolutely saved his family from the fire,” Hoguet said.Sadly, one resident did not get out.
A relative said that resident’s mother and sister lived just downstairs from him.The mother borrowed Adams phone to reach her 48 year old son. He had apparently already succumbed to the smoke and flames in the hallway near that stairwell where the fire was worst.Authorities have yet to release the victim’s name.There was no word on the fire’s cause. The St. Louis County Bomb and Arson unit is investigating