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UPDATE: Fire Survivors Asking “What Do I Do Now?”

John Butler, KMOX News
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St. Louis firefighters work to contain a fire on the roof of an apartment building during a five alarm fire in St. Louis on July 17, 2012. Nearly 200 apartments in the complex were involved after a fire spread throughout the roof of the buildings.  UPI/Bill Greenblatt

St. Louis firefighters work to contain a fire on the roof of an apartment building during a five alarm fire in St. Louis on July 17, 2012. Nearly 200 apartments in the complex were involved after a fire spread throughout the roof of the buildings. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

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Updated 11:30 a.m.

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — Residents of the 3949 Apartments on Lindell learned today that they will not be returning home. The four-story “L” shaped building that caught fire Tuesday evening has been declared a total loss.

In a facebook post the apartment owner states:

Current & Future Residents, we are now able to say that the entire building has been destroyed. We will be refunding all of July’s rent, all deposits and pre-paid items. Checks can be picked up from us on Friday this week. A letter will be going out to assist with insurance claims.
All leases current and future will be cancelled at this time.

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – The more than one hundred residents who survived last night’s devastating apartment fire in the 39-hundred block of Lindell are asking themselves this morning, what am I going to do now?

The fire that started around 7 p.m. rapidly ripped through the attic of the four-story “L” shaped building and collapsed on to the third floor. Over one hundred firefighters battled the blaze. Fortunately firemen were able to pretty much contain the blaze to the attic and parts of the third flood but smoke and water damage to the apartments below is immense.  The good news is everyone got out alive, there were no serious injuries other than a couple of firemen who were treated for heat exhaustion.

Now residents are faced with the challenge of getting their lives back together. Cindy Erickson, Regional CEO of  the Red Cross:

“Our priority today is really helping them with what do I in the next 24 hours, I’ve just had the worst day of my life  and I’m not sure what do I do from here, and so that’s what we’ll be focused on, helping them get a plan.”

slp2012071711 UPDATE: Fire Survivors Asking What Do I Do Now?

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Erickson told KMOX News last night the Red Cross was able to put some of the residents up in near-by hotels that opened their doors to people displaced.

There’s another issue, the apartment allowed pets. There are indications this morning that many of those pets did not escape the fire, some did and they were taken in by the Humane Society.  Jeane Jae, VP of Communications for the Human Society of Missouri had some of their people at the scene of the fire last night and they did take in some pets that they are currently sheltering.

“We would like to ask that anybody who finds a stray animal from that area, we encourage them to bring it to the Humane Society of Missouri shelter on Macklind Avenue.”

Jae also is opening up the shelter to the pets that those apartment dwellers were able to take with them.  The Humane Society will provide temporary shelter.

Today fire investigators will be going through the wreckage looking for a cause. There appear to be some unanswered questions about the setup of the apartment building’s sprinkler system and firewalls.

This is not the first time a fire damaged the structure.  In June 2007 as the building was under construction a fire caused over ten million dollars damage, fire investigators determined it was a case of arson.

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