Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rolla Fire & Rescue responds to structure fire on 12th Street

On Oct. 25, 2011 at approximately 2:57 a.m., the City of Rolla Fire & Rescue responded to a structure fire at 503 East  12th Street.

Upon the fire department’s arrival, fire crew found heavy smoke and fire coming from the apartment complex.  This apartment complex is made up of four different apartment buildings which contained a minimum of 4 apartments in each building.  These apartments owned by Dale Wands, housed numerous Missouri S & T students.  Fire crews found heavy fire at the front of two of the apartment buildings.  Fire crew, made a quick knockdown of the fire, and conducted an initial search of the buildings to ensure that all occupants had safely exited the building.

There were no injuries to the occupants of the building and there were also no injuries to fire personnel working this fire.  Rolla Fire & Rescue responded with 2 – 75 foot ladder/pumpers, 1 pumper, and an air truck.  In total, 17 firefighters responded to the scene with personnel remaining on the scene for approximately 3.5 hours.

Due to the large number of occupants and the amount of property loss, the City of Rolla Fire and Rescue requested the State Fire Marshal’s Office to respond to this fire to assist in the cause and origin of the fire.  Roger Hayes, Region I Fire Marshal, responded and was provided additional investigative support from the Rolla Police Department.  Upon the completion of the investigation, it was determined to be an accidental fire (unintentional) caused by the improper disposal of a cigarette.

The fire in the second building was caused by radiant heat transferring from the original fire building. The apartments were protected by working smoke detectors and it was through a quick notification through Phelps County 911, that lives and property were not further endangered.

All Missouri S & T students were provided housing (if needed) through the Missouri S & T Police Department.  As of this afternoon, 13 Missouri S & T students were displaced with several being housed at T J Hall. Fire damage to the buildings is estimated to exceed $200,000 with additional personal property damage to exceed $75,000.

The City of Rolla Fire and Rescue was assisted by the Missouri State Fire Marshal’s Office, Rolla Police Department, Rolla Municipal Utilities, Missouri S & T Police Department, and the Phelps County Regional Medical Center Ambulance Service.  Chief Williams said he “was grateful for the quick knock down by the department personnel and due to a rapid response, the fire was prevented from expanding into additional apartment buildings.”  He went on to thank the many responding agencies for their assistance at this emergency scene.   

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