ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Gavin Alfred has been a St. Louis firefighter for three years. He was working on a medic unit Wednesday when he requested to leave work because his own apartment unit was on fire. The two-alarm fire was at the Laurel Park Apartments on Jacobi Avenue in north St. Louis County.

Firefighters from multiple departments, including Metro-North, North County, Ferguson, and St. Louis City were at the scene. An apartment building with approximately eight units was damaged.

“A fireman went to work and lost his home today,” said apartment building resident Pamela Washington.

Alfred said his background gave him a unique perspective and was just relieved no one was hurt.

“Not too many people get second chances at life,” he said.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. Alfred was unable to get into his unit to assess the damage Wednesday, but it appeared to be a total loss.

“There are people out there who go through so much worse than I do,” he said.

Firefighters were able to bring the flames under control without any injuries. Kim Allen was grateful everyone was okay and hopes the St. Louis community will rally behind anyone needing help replacing what they lost. His daughter lives in one of the units that appeared to be a total loss.

“You can replace material things, said Allen. “Your life you know, you can’t get that back.”

Alfred was thankful no one in the building, including his partner and 8-year-old goddaughter, were injured. He also had a promise for his goddaughter.

“We’ll have a big Christmas this year,” said Alfred. “I will walk until I can’t walk anymore to make sure that she is happy and not upset about this anymore.”