ST. LOUIS – Residents at a senior living complex are mourning Thursday after their neighbor’s apartment went up in flames overnight.
In a concerted effort, the small community rallied together to help get as many residents out during the fire.
“It was very scary, very scary,” said one neighbor who asked to remain anonymous.
Shaken and a bit scared, the woman spoke about the moments her neighbor’s apartment went up in flames at 1 a.m.
“Some of them didn’t even hear the alarm,” she said. “If it wasn’t for us going around and hitting the doors or pounding on the doors, they wouldn’t have even known it.”
In a panic, she started handing fire extinguishers to a neighbor to keep the fire under control until firefighters arrived.
“If it wasn’t for him trying to knock down the fire with the fire extinguisher it would’ve been worse than what it was.,” she said.
“As soon as they open that door, they encountered heavy fire,” said John Barton, High Ridge Fire Protection District.
Within minutes, first responders found the elderly woman, picked her up, and got her to the ambulance.
Unfortunately, the woman died on scene.
“It’s definitely difficult,” Barton said. “It’s difficult for everybody involved. This is not the circumstance we hope for, but we train for this situation. The crews on the scene did a great job getting here quickly and making a rescue quickly.”
Now, neighbors are left upset with the loss of friend, yet with a greater bond that they truly have each other’s back.
“If one of us can’t do, maybe another one can,” the neighbor said. “We try to take care of one another.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation right now.