Heavy smoke, water damage after condo complex garage fire

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CREVE COEUR, MO (KTVI)-Firefighters in Creve Coeur scrambled to put out a smoky fire in a 30 car garage Sunday morning.

“There was smoke pouring all the way down the entire building, just bellowing out,” said resident Shelia Umbright. “ It was huge!"

Fire in a 30 car garage is nothing to take lightly so several departments responded to this two alarm fire at about 8:00 Sunday morning at Creve Coeur Station condos.

Chief Chuck Marsonette with the Monarch Fire Protection District explained, “We have a common attic in that building that runs all the way down that building. With the items that could be inside, petroleum products and items of that nature, we certainly wanted to be prepared should we need any additional units.”

Most of the fire damage is to the ceilings and the roof. Firefighters had to chop their way through the garage doors. But as it turned out, there were hardly any cars parked inside. A lot of residents are out of town for the holidays and many others prefer to use these one car stalls as storage lockers.

Resident Anita Paxton said, “We keep junk in there.”

FOX 2 reporter Paul Schankman asked her, “Good junk or just junk junk?”

“Actually good junk. That was the problem. We were driving up going oh my god oh my god...”

Still some cars were parked inside, including a 1963 Plymouth Fury. But it was the damage to a 2000 Honda that was breaking one owner's heart.

Angela Schelker explained her husband’s sadness, “He has had it for years. It’s his baby so he is a little upset about it right now. I actually have the newer car but he always keeps his in the garage because it's his baby.”

“These are all material things,” said Shelia Umbright. “No one is injured. No one lost their home or their puppies or kitty cats so that’s… so if we were going to have a fire it was better out in the garages than in the building.”

Investigators think the fire started in the attic but they have yet to figure out the cause. Most of the damage to the contents of the garages was from smoke and water.