Fires & Rescues Archives - Central County Fire & Rescue

Sprinkler Prevents Major Fire Damage at New Apartment Complex

A single sprinkler head prevented what could have been a catastrophic fire at the new Pure Apartments in the 4100 block of Pure Street in St. Peters, Missouri, which is still under construction. The fire started in a faulty heating and air conditioning unit and was discovered by construction crews at around 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 30. This is the second fire at the complex in the past five months.

Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) crews arrived on the scene and discovered heavy smoke on the first floor. Upon further investigation they found a wall mounted heating and cooling unit that had caught fire and was extinguished by a single sprinkler head, preventing the fire from extending past the room of origin. Fire crews quickly shut down the flowing sprinkler head, checked for further hazards and returned the suppression system back to service before leaving.

The estimated damage is approximately $3,000 with a value of the building estimated at $1,300,000. Repairs to the building will include replacement of the wall mounted HVAC unit, paint and water cleanup. No other portions of the building or complex were damaged or impacted. The building is in the final stages of construction and no occupants were present at the time of the fire.

In November, construction workers using a flammable adhesive ignited a fire while using a metal angle grinder in the 2100 building of the complex. The sprinkler system kept the damage to less than $5,000.

Both buildings are three-story wood structures. The CCFR Prevention Bureau requires that adequate access and fire protection systems be in place and in service as soon as possible during the construction process to prevent a major incident.

“In each case, without the sprinkler-based fire suppression system being active the fires would have escalated very quickly and both buildings would have been a total loss,” says CCFR Assistant Chief Steve Brown.

CCFR was assisted by the St. Charles County Ambulance District and the City of St. Charles Fire Department on the call.

Barbecue Grill Causes Fire At St. Peters Condominium Complex

More than hot dogs and hamburgers felt the heat of the barbecue flames at a condominium complex in Saint Peters, Missouri on the night of Sunday, Sept. 23. An overheated grill sent flames up the side of the complex, and onto the deck.

The Saint Peters Police Department was closest to the scene and were able to extinguish the fire with an extinguisher before the fire caused further damage. Firefighters from Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) arrived minutes later.

“We are fortunate that the police arrived when they did. A few more minutes and we would have had a different situation on our hands,” says CCFR Assistant Chief Steve Brown.

International Fire Code (IFC), and local fire ordinances prohibit grills and other open flame devices on the decks and patios of multifamily residential complexes. The IFC is a model code utilized nationwide by thousands of building and fire departments.

“Decks and patios of apartment and condominium complexes are usually much smaller than what a single family home has. The grill cannot be far enough from the home to prevent it from causing a house fire. In addition, multifamily developments are often more than two stories high and are a home to many more people than in a single family residence. This creates significantly more risk to life-loss if a fire were to occur,” says Brown.

“We understand many residents want to grill, but it simply not safe on the decks of multifamily complexes. We have seen many fires, just like this one over the past few years, and many times the damage is much worse,” says Brown.

CCFR recommends multifamily complexes install grills in common areas that are away from the property and present less of a risk to residents and their homes. The District is committed to the reduction in loss of property and life, and continues to work toward the elimination of those hazards that can be identified before a fire.

Images from the scene

Fire Forces Local Family from Home

Fire forced a St. Peters, Missouri family out of their home Thursday night. At approximately 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) responded to call for a house fire in the 100 block of Sutters Mill Rd. in St. Peters. One person was home at the time of the fire and awoke to a haze in the air. When she looked for the source she discovered a fire in a basement bedroom and quickly closed the door to the room, got out of the house and called 911.

“This resident did everything correctly. Her quick reaction to close the door, get out of the house and call 911 spared the house from further damage and helped their three dogs escape injury,” says CCFR Assistant Chief Steve Brown. A closed door helps prevent the spread of a fire.

At the time of the call St. Charles County Ambulance (SCCAD) was closest to the scene and arrived first. When they got to the home the paramedics reported a working basement fire and confirmed that everyone was safely out of the house. When CCFR arrived on the scene they discovered fire blowing out a bedroom window on the lower level of the home, and began work to put out the fire.

“Heavy black smoke filled the entire home, but because the resident closed the door to the room where the fire started, the actual fire damage was contained to the one room,” says Brown.

There were no injuries, but damages are expected to be $30,000 or more. Fire investigators are still at the scene working to determine the cause of the fire. The family of four is staying with family Thursday night.

CCFR was assisted by the Cottleville Fire Protection District, SCCAD and RE-HAB 95, which provides canteen service to firefighters and victim assistance to families affected by fire or other disasters. Approximately 25 first responders were on the scene.

Visit our Facebook page for images from the scene.

CCFR Firefighters Rescue, Revive Cat After Basement Fire

In early May, Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) firefighters received a call about a residential basement fire. Crews arrived on the scene within minutes to find all residents gathered safely outdoors.

All residents but one, that is.

One of the residents told firefighters their cat was still inside, and the CCFR crew immediately started their search. When the cat was found unresponsive, the crew began to administer CPR, successfully resuscitating the cat before returning her to her owners so they could bring her to the veterinarian.

“At CCFR, we know that for many residents, pets are just another member of the family,” Assistant Chief Steve Brown says. “We’re committed to keeping every member of our community safe — even the furry ones — and that’s why every CCFR fire truck is equipped with a special pet resuscitation kit.”

Two St. Peters Kitchen Fires Monday Highlight Importance of Cooking Safety, Sprinklers

Cooking is the leading cause of home fires nationwide. Two St. Peters residents became part of this statistic on Nov. 27, when frying chicken and bacon led to fires in their kitchens. Both residences were equipped with automatic fire suppression systems, commonly known as sprinklers, that rapidly extinguished the flames, limiting damage to the buildings.

At around 10 a.m. at the Wyndham Park Apartments, 8000 Wyndham Park Dr. a resident turned her back on a frying pan of bacon, which caught fire.

“The resident panicked and poured water on the grease fire, which caused the flames to flash, setting off the fire suppression system,” Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) Assistant Chief Steve Brown says. “Water should never be poured on a grease fire. We are fortunate that there were no injuries or more extreme damage to her home.”

In the event of a grease fire, residents should turn off the stove and cover the flames with a lid, or use a fire extinguisher to put out the fire. If the fire has spread, residents should evacuate the house and call 911.

At around 7 p.m. CCFR responded to the second cooking fire of the day. This one was at the Turnberry Place Condominiums, at 450 Benton Dr. A resident was warming a pan to fry chicken and left the room. When she returned the pan was on fire, and the fire suppression system was putting the fire out.

“Current building codes in the area require working fire suppression systems in multi-family housing units like these apartment complexes. In these two fires, these systems helped minimize the fire damage to incidents that only required minor clean-up, and there were no injuries. Without them the fire damage and injuries could have been much more extensive,” Brown says.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there are more than 450 home cooking fires every day. Unattended cooking equipment is the leading cause of these fires and the leading cause of civilian fire injuries.

“Especially during the busy holiday season, it is critically important for everyone to remember safety first in the kitchen. Never leave cooking food unattended, keep items like dish towels away from the stove, and make sure children and pets stay away from the stove and oven,” Brown says.

CCFR firefighter Jake Taylor recently appeared on Fox2 to talk about grease fire prevention. Click here to see what they had to say.

Fatal House Fire

Elm Street House FireOne Adult, Two Children Die In St. Peters House Fire

At around 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 9 Central County Fire & Rescue (CCFR) responded to a call for a house fire in the 1800 Block of Elm Tree St.

Upon arrival, first responders found neighbors knocking on doors and windows. The neighbors, who had discovered the fire, alerted firefighters that there were likely people inside the home.

The firefighters entered the smoke-filled home and found the two children, then the adult. The children were transported to a local hospital where they were pronounced dead. The adult victim was found dead at the scene.

Because of the fatalities, the St. Peters Police Department is handling the fire investigation.

Birdie Hills Rd. House Fire

Birdie hills house fire

At around 12:20 a.m. on Tuesday, June 7 firefighters from Central County Fire & RescueCottleville Fire Protection District and O’Fallon Fire Protection District and St. Charles County Ambulance District responded to a house fire in the 1100 block of Birdie Hills Rd. St. Charles County Ambulance Medic 10 was the first to arrive and reported heavy fire showing from the home.

When emergency responders arrived everyone was out of the home and firefighters began extinguishing the fire. Two victims were transported to a local hospital for what is believed to be smoke inhalation.

The fire is being investigated by CCFR, and a cause is not available at this time.

Recent Fires

Candles and smoking – they are both a leading cause of home fires, and both resulted in recent fires within the CCFR service area.

On April 19, careless smoking caused a fire at the Cactus RV Park and on April 24, a lit candle caused a fire in the 800 block of Red Tree Lane in the Sun River Village Apartment complex. The smoking fire resulted in a fatality, and two people were injured in the candle fire.

 

Every year, candles and smoking materials cause more than 100,000 house fires in the United States that result in more than 600 fatalities and thousands of injuries. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) lighted tobacco products are the leading cause of fatal fires in the home.

“Everyone needs to understand the real risks of smoking and lighting candles. These are open heat sources that can rapidly ignite things such as curtains and furniture,” says CCFR Chief Russ Mason.

Candle Safety

  • CCFR recommends using battery-operated candles.
  • Candles need to be:
    • At least a foot away from anything that can burn (curtains, walls, lamps, etc.)
    • Attended at all times
    • Used in sturdy, enclosed candleholders
    • Placed in areas where they cannot be tipped over
    • Avoided in homes where oxygen is used
  • In the event of a power outage use flashlights, or other battery-operated power, not candles to light your home.

Click here to learn more from NFPA.

Smoking Safety

  • Smoke outside
  • Never dispose of smoking materials in a plastic container or plastic trash bag
  • Use deep, wide ashtrays on a sturdy table
  • Douse ashes and cigarette butts with water before throwing them away
  • Avoid smoking in homes where oxygen is used
  • To prevent a deadly cigarette fire, you have to be alert. You won’t be if you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine or other drugs.

Click here to learn more from NFPA.