Brett Blume

ST. CHARLES, Mo. (KMOX) –  Lisa Fitzgerald was just getting out of the shower when she heard someone knocking frantically at her front door.

But it wasn’t until she smelled smoke that she realized the danger was real — her condo building was on fire.

She quickly got dressed, grabbed her purse, and ran out the back door to safety.

“I guess next time I won’t ignore the knocks,” she said later, realizing how much worse it could have been.

One person reportedly suffered minor injuries as the entire complex was evacuated.

The fire broke out just before 8 a.m. Monday and quickly escalated to four alarms, according to Central County fire chief Russ Mason.

He said the flames were spreading but the main reason he eventually struck four alarms was due to his concern for firefighters, and calling more help to the scene allowed for shorter shifts in the intense heat.

“It’s extremely tough in this kind of heat,” Mason pointed out. “The gear obviously is heavy. You put it on and you don’t even have to go in the fire to start sweating and dehydrating.”

Several units at 1380 Heritage Landing were heavily damaged.

The cause hasn’t officially been determined but word at the scene was that a propane tank on a barbecue grill exploded, possibly from exposure to extreme heat, touching off the blaze.


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