ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – One man has died after an abandoned dock on the riverfront in St. Louis was set on fire Sunday night. Another man was critically injured in the fire, according to firefighters.
Zachary Mantei, 22, of Weldon Springs, Mo. died Monday night.
The call for the fire came out around 4:45 p.m. Sunday in the 2400 block of South Second Street, near the Mississippi River floodwall in the old Kosciusko Industrial area near Soulard. Firefighters said 55 gallon drums of containers with flammable containers were opened. The flammable chemicals became flammable vapors.
"This is definitely suspicious," said St. Louis Fire Department Captain Garon Mosby. "Our investigators are here collaborating with St. Louis Bomb and Arson."
According to investigators, there were several spot fires set throughout the building.
As the fire progressed, responders were faced with the challenge of locating the victims inside the vacant warehouse. In fact, they even faced an empty elevator shaft which Mosby said was a nightmare.
"There was an open elevator shaft there so for firefighters, that's a nightmare," he said. "You have no visibility in the smoke-filled building and an open elevator shaft."
Two people suffered critical injuries and were transported to a local hospital for treatment. One person was seen fleeing the scene.
"I'm not sure what their intent was, whether it was to set a large fire and that was the manner they went about it," said Mosby. "That's what our investigators will try to determine."
Investigators said there was a car left at the scene, they are working to determine whether it has any connection to the fire.
The injured men will be questioned when they are able to talk.
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