Flames engulf Lake St. Louis apartment complex carport; 32 cars destroyed

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LAKE ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Thirty-two cars are either damaged or destroyed after a carport went up in flames at a Lake St. Louis apartment complex early Monday morning.  The fire happened at the Camden Cedar Lake Apartments in Lake St. Louis near  Highway 40.  It caused extensive damage. The carport is gone.

Ananta Poolla was one of several residents awakened by the explosion-like sounds.  His Ford Escape was destroyed in the carport.

"By the time I came out, I saw it, it was completely in flames. For a second I thought maybe I can save it but then there was no point in it," said Poolla.

Samantha Brown`s car was damaged.

"I woke up to a scream and I looked out my window and I saw the car on fire. So I grabbed my phone and started running out and called 911. And I got out there and there was a bunch of smoke," said Brown.

Some like Lauren Conwell`s fiancé raced to move their cars before the flames spread.

"He ran out, ran across here, his car was right behind the moped, started it as quick as he could," explained Conwell.

Firefighters received the call around 3:00am after a newspaper delivery woman noticed the fire.

"With all those vehicles involved along with the parking structure, the plywood involved in that, it spread pretty quick, it was overwhelming for the first crew no doubt," said John Schneider, the Assistant Chief with the Wentzville Fire Protection District.

Fortunately, the apartment buildings weren't damaged and no one was hurt.

However, some apartment residents were evacuated when the fire first started.

The state fire marshal was called in to help the authorities with the Wentzville Fire Protection District find a cause.


  • Ace Baily

    looks like someone was a little ticked at a resident of this place, cars,like houses just do not decide to burn, always a reason, whether intentional or not, this appears like intentional, bringing in the state fire marshal.

    • Lee Williams

      Ace…cars are 95% electronics now and with smart cars and batteries YES they can just start a fire, But hey maybe you started this because you know so much about it, you should just go tell the fire marshal to not worry about an investigation because you got this case closed, I’m so glad you comment on these posts with your infinite knowledge of fires.

      • Ace Baily

        I am sure that you are an expert, of which I do not claim to be. when 32 cars are burned, and the state fire marshal is called, the possibility of someone starting this is there, and I am sure all of these smart cars as you call them just ignited when 1 of them may have ignited in the manner you suggest. I do not have this case closed by any means, nor did I say so . I am so glad you can read a sentence and then make it into what you want to think.

      • Lee Williams

        I didn’t say I was an expert but read your post man…you said “cars like homes just don’t decide to burn” which is you saying this is arson and you know it….fires do start by accident and without people is all I was saying,,,Again you state “32 cars just don’t burn from one car”
        well yes they can, you don’t have to be an expert to know that…it was in a carport with multiple cars, then once one car goes the others do and with the gas in the cars…yeah I can see how 32 cars can be affected. but hey it’s your opinion so whatever you can sound uneducated if you want, My point was you said these things could never happen this way and they obviously can.

    • Ace Baily

      John, Lee Williams is going to jump all over you for suggesting such. I was put in my place for suggesting such, and when the day is done I will be quite surprised if it was anything but arson. As we know, cars just ignite every day as regular part of life.

      • Lee Williams

        No you were so called “put in your place” for suggesting that it could never be an accident because that never happens… and yes cars do just start on fire on a daily basis….have you never heard of a recall???? I believe chevy has one right now because it could start a fire.

      • Ace Baily

        the state fire marshal is not called out for every fire, if so, it would be traveling the state non stop. there is a difference between suggesting something and making a statement as to this is exactly what happened. the suggestion of a meth lab did not receive a knock down from lee, why not?

  • DiDi

    Yes Sean they did… i was a resident there at that time. Anything could be the possible cause, I was thinking mobile meth lab myself….

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