Fire in South St. Louis County leaves families displaced -

Fire in South St. Louis County leaves families displaced

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Courtesy KMOV Courtesy KMOV

An early morning fire at the Southridge Condominiums in South St. Louis County destroyed at least three units and damaged eight others. 

Now, a total of 11 families are without a home.  No one was injured.

“I never saw something (like that) in my life,” Senija Arslanovic, whose condo was damaged in the fire, said. “You didn’t do anything, something happens and then everything you have you just lost.”

“It’s more shock.  People were just devastated,” property manager Dawn Huelsmann said. “It was the middle of the night.  They’re doors were beaten on to get out.  It’s pretty scary.”

The fire broke out around 2:30 Saturday morning.  Southridge Condominiums is located close to Interstate 55 and Reavis Barracks Road. 

Huelsmann says a few of the victims should be able to get back into their units within a few days once the smoke and debris is cleared.  But there are a few who won’t be able to come back home for quite a while.

“I’m just sick about the devastation and the fact these people are going to be displaced for months.  It’s going to be a long process rebuilding these sections of the building,” Huelsmann said.

Officially the cause of the fire is under investigation. 

“Supposedly it was something on a stove.  Somebody fell asleep with something on a stove.  We’re not positive on that,” Huelsmann said.

Residents are simply clinging to a silver lining in the wake of such devastation.

 “Thank God no one’s hurt.  Nobody.  I’m just happy for that.  We’re all okay,” Arslanovic said.

The family which lives next door to where the fire began has a baby which normally sleeps in the back of the condo.  The fire originated in the back of the neighboring unit

Huelsmann said, by chance, the baby fell asleep Friday night with its parents in the front of the condo – further away from the fire.  She says there’s a chance that could have saved the baby’s life.

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