September 26, 2023

Feb. 18–Firefighters in Chillicothe rescued a small child, her parents and one other occupant from an apartment late Tuesday night.

Crews responded to the apartment building at 19 Webster St., shortly before midnight where a fire had reportedly trapped a young child and her parents, said Chillicothe Fire Chief Darrell Wright. Smoke was found coming from the northeast corner of the second floor.

A ladder was deployed to the second floor where parents of a 3-year-old girl handed her out the window, Mr. Wright said. The child did not appear injured, he added.

In the rescue attempt, additional firefighters made entry to the second floor and escorted the adults down a stairwell. They also escaped without injury, fire crews reported.

“We also found another adult laying outside apartment 7,” Mr. Wright said. “We believe that might of been where the fire started.”

The occupant was rescued from the building and transported to Hedrick Medical Center in Chillicothe for treatment. Mr. Wright said the man was then flown to a Kansas City hospital for treatment of burns.

Another adult neighbor was also transported to the hospital for further care. The Missouri State Fire Marshal’s Office was called to investigate the fire.

“There were about nine to 12 total (individuals) in the apartment building at the time of the fire,” Mr. Wright said.

Power was disconnected and building occupants were instructed to find other places to stay for the night.

“Right now, (the Fire Marshal) has not initially ruled out smoking as the cause,” Mr. Wright said. “We don’t know if that is what (the cause) is, but he also hasn’t ruled it out.”

The most damage to the building was found to be in apartment 7, Mr. Wright added. The cause remains under investigation, but no foul play is suspected.

Karla Long, disaster program manager with the American Red Cross of Northwest Missouri, said volunteers will be meeting with fire victims individually to assess emergency needs.

Copyright 2015 – St. Joseph News-Press, Mo.

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