ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – An investigation is underway to figure out what started an apartment fire at a historic building in Normandy.
“All I could think about is I bought new stuff and I don’t want to be out of a place to live,” resident Valerie Johnson said.
Residents in the Castle Park Apartments were left shaken, stunned, and speechless as they look onto their homes go up in flames.
“All I could think about was homelessness and what am I going to do,” resident Candyse Gridiron said.
North-East Fire Chief Quinten Randolph says first responders were met with heavy smoke as they battled the blaze on the roof.
Bommarito Automotive SkyFOX showed how much of a challenge that had been as eight fire agencies battled the flames.
There’s still no word on how the fire got started, but nearly 100 people were evacuated.
The good news – everyone got out safe.
“I do believe most will be able to go back in,” Randolph said. “There’s some people who may not be able to go back in if they live in the adjacent floors to the fire, which is the third and fourth floor.”
Elderly residents staying in the adjacent nursing home were unharmed but had to be evacuated as well.
Though safety is key, not all the residents were pleased with the mess that met them at their front door.
“It’s so much going on, then to come home to something like this,” Gridiron said.
Gridiron recalls back in 2018 when a water pipe burst which led to an evacuation and now this.
With knowledge that smoke damage happened on the third and fourth floors, she and others are worried with what they will return home to when they are allowed back inside.
“This the second time, it’s kind of devastating,” Gridiron said.
This historic building, built in the 1891, started out as an extension to St. Vincent Hospital.
Randolph is crediting recent remodeling as why the fire didn’t spread as it normally would in the older model homes.