Fire At South City Apartment Complex Forces Evacuation

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Vocal neighbors warned residents of fire spreading from a first floor apartment in the 3700 block of Kosciusko Saturday afternoon.  The two story frame buildings make up the Ridge Crest Apartment complex.

By the time the first fire crew arrived, heavy black smoke was coming from the apartment according to St. Louis Fire Department Battalion Chief Gerald Jorden.  That first crew called for more help.

"We did have heavy fire in the first floor.  It did extend to the second floor and into the roof line," said Jorden.

The Battalion Chief credited his firefighters for getting the blaze under control in about ten minutes.

Extra manpower made a difference.

"With the additional companies we were able to not only get water on the fire real quick and knock it down quite quickly, but we were also able to do an intensive search on the first and second floors," said Jorden.

Firefighters found no occupants in the building.  There were no reported injuries.

The first floor apartment and the one above it were heavily damaged while three to four other units had water and smoke damage.

"I heard a couple of people screaming get out...          that's it..basically get out," recounted fire victim Jronn Jones whose apartment had smoke and water damage.

Firefighters say the blaze began in a first floor apartment bedroom.  Battalion Chief Jorden called in fire investigators to determine the cause.  He said they did find extension cords and a space heater in the room.

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