One woman was injured in a four-alarm fire at the Heritage Landing Condominium complex Monday morning that involved six homes.
The condo complex is west of Highway 364/Page Extension and south of Highway 94 in unincorporated St. Charles County. This building has 24 units total.
Central County Fire and Rescue Fire Chief Russ Mason said dispatchers got the call around 7:53 a.m. A fire in a commercial building is automatically a two alarm fire, but after crews arrived and discovered how heavy the fire was, they activated the third and eventually fourth alarms.
According to KSDK.com, two firefighters were taken to the hospital for symptoms of heat exhaustion.
The fire burned away the the decks on the second and third floor of the back of the building. At least six apartments were involved in the fire, some worse than others, Mason said.
One woman who is 34 weeks pregnant was taken to the hospital as a precaution for smoke inhalation. Her apartment was the suspected origin for the fire, he said.
Resident Rich Jahnke stood outside watching crews battle the fire. He said the woman who was taken to the hospital banged on his door telling him to get out. He threw on some clothes and found his 5-year-old Shih Tzu under the bed. His wife was at work, he said.
"You couldn't hardly see down the hall," Jahnke said, the smoke was so thick.
One man said fire fighters broke down his door and rescued his dog. Other people stood outside the apartment holding dog carriers. Mason said they called St. Charles County Animal Control to help with the animals.
Units from Cottleville, , O'Fallon, Lake Saint Louis, Maryland Heights and Chesterfield were on scene. A team from the St. Louis Area American Red Cross was there to provide water and food for the emergency responders on the scene and will help the 24 families affected.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Mason said it doesn't appear to be related to fireworks. This is the fourth major fire at this condo complex during the last 20 years, Mason said.