Residents of apartment building that caught on fire praise firefighters

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on July 18, 2014 at 3:19 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 18 at 4:32 PM

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- An apartment fire forced at least 100 people from their homes overnight in west St. Louis.

Firefighters responded to the apartment building, located at 956 Hamilton Avenue, around 1:00 Thursday morning.

They said 100 residents were evacuated, but most have been allowed to return to their home.
 
FIrefighters said the fire started on the second floor, but they were able to put it out very quickly. Firefighters told News 4 they began to rescue residents shortly after the fire was out.
 
"Several people in wheelchairs had to be evacuted and carried down the stairs," said Captain Leon Whitener with the St. Louis Fire Department.
 
Residnet Fannie Haynes told News 4 she tried to leave the building but started to chokign and struggling to breathe because of the smoke. She said sh turned her wheelchair around and went back inside her apartment before hearing a knock at the door.
 
"They (firefighters) on the door just as I was praying and came in and those two men stayed with me just like guardian angels until everything was over," Haynes said.
 
The American Red Cross said they are helping a family with food, clothing and shelter after the fire caused damage to their unit.  Two additional families, each two adults, received assistance for shelter.
 
Four people were treated for smoke inhalation.

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