Two families homeless after fire rips through Belleville apartme - KMOV.com

Two families homeless after fire rips through Belleville apartment complex

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By Afton Spriggs By Afton Spriggs
By Afton Spriggs By Afton Spriggs
By Afton Spriggs By Afton Spriggs
By Afton Spriggs By Afton Spriggs
By Afton Spriggs By Afton Spriggs

Two families are homeless this afternoon after fire rips through their Belleville apartment complex.  It happened around 1 a.m. on Freedom Drive, just south of the North Belt West.

Smoke billows out of top floor windows.

"I saw flames on the ceilings in the hallway, so I went inside and woke my family up and told them we've got to go," Mr. Campbell, who has two children, says.

The fire chief tells News 4 flames erupted in the laundry room on the ground floor, shot up through the walls and spread across each of the three floors.

"It's scary to witness it upfront," Ms. Edwards says.  "I told my kids, you see the little fire safety movies?  The smoke they tell you about -- it's no joke, for real."

Two families lived in the six-apartment complex.  The Red Cross is helping five adults and four children find a new place to live.

Smoke alarms and fire trucks woke residents.  Then Belleville Police went door to door to evacuate the building.

"The ambulance was able to get in there and wake me and my kids up and get us out in time," Ms. Edwards says.  "Smoke is just everywhere."

Fire fighters say it was a difficult fire to fight.  The heavy smoke fatigued fire fighters, who went through countless tanks of oxygen.  The two-alarm blaze took more than an hour to bring under control.  Now residents are counting their blessings.

"Got everybody out safe," Mr. Campbell says.  "We lost everything, but God is good.  All my family, my kids -- we got out safe."

The fire is under investiagtion.

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