ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – An infant died and two other children were injured during an early morning fire in west St. Louis.
Firefighters were called to the 5100 block of Cates after a home caught fire Wednesday morning.
The deceased boy, who is 9-months-old, according to a man who was living in the building, was found inside the home.
A resident of the home told News 4 he saw the fire in the living room of the home and carried a 1-year-old boy outside. He also said firefighters rescued a 3-year-old boy.
"It’s kind of crazy, it just happened all of a sudden," said Terrell Moment, who lives inside the building. "I got up to take a bathroom run, I see the wall by the window on fire, and I said 'fire fire.' I woke up everybody. I came downstairs to open the front door. When I came back upstairs there was just smoke everywhere."
The two children that were inside the home were taken to the hospital. One of the children was listed in serious condition and the other was listed in “very critical condition,” St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said.
Moment told News 4 the three children are cousins.
Six adults were also at the home when the fire occurred. Two of the adults were listed in stable condition, later changed to serious condition, at the hospital.
"I’ve experienced death before. I should be hurting but I'm a bit numb, but all of this hasn’t really sunk in yet. I’m just happy my wife is alive and everybody who is safe is safe," Moment said.
Chief Jenkerson said he believes the home had working smoke alarms.
Neighbors witnessed the whole event from just a couple buildings down.
“I actually could see everything from my house and I saw them bring the children out,” Devin Dixon said. “Not the one that died but the older children. I watched them take them. It was pretty sad once I realized what I was looking at.”
“I was just numb the whole morning. I just couldn’t believe a nine month old baby – a life gone,” Christie Fields said.
According to officials, the second floor of the building has been condemned.
The fire is not believed to be suspicious.
The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
The American Red Cross is assisting seven adults and two children with shelter, food, clothing and replacement medications following the fire.
“What do I do next? I can’t go back to my home. Do I have insurance, not have insurance? What are the other resources that are available for me and that’s what the Red Cross does,” CEO Cindy Erickson said.
The Red Cross says in this case they understand there was a smoke alarm that alerted the household. To those who survived, that alarm likely saved their lives.
For anyone who needs an alarm and cannot afford one they can call the American Red Cross at (314) 516-2797.
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