CHESTERFIELD, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Residents were forced to evacuate their homes after a fire ripped through an apartment complex in Chesterfield on Friday.
The fire started around 2 a.m. in the 15000 block of Elk Ridge Lane at the Shoettler Village Apartments.
Officials said a resident woke up to find fire in his bed. He called 911 to report the blaze after not being able to put it out.
Authorities said the man collapsed in his apartment near the front door while on the phone.
The man was taken to the hospital with burns and fire officials tell say his family says he was alert and talking
Fire officials said when crews arrived, they had to rescue multiple people.
One resident said she opened her apartment door and found a smoke-filled hallway. She said she had to use her balcony to escape. She managed to catch video of the fire on her cell phone.
“I was sleeping. All the sudden we heard all the alarms going off. I woke up. It smelled like smoke. I checked the door, and as soon as I opened it, smoke just filled the apartment,” said resident Stephanie Hoth.
According to reports, a firefighter suffered a shoulder injury.
Officials said 10 of the 21 residents living in the complex had to be rescued because the alarm did not sound in all the apartments.
Fire officials on the scene said only some residents had working smoke alarms and said the complex itself doesn’t have an alarm system through all its units.
Many of the residents were unaware their building was on fire until firefighters kicked in their apartment door and helped them out of the building.
The apartment building suffered serious damage and multiple units are considered to be unlivable.
Officials said the fire was caused by smoking materials that came into contact with the resident’s bed or medical oxygen tube.