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Two residents rescued from burning Shannon Valley apartment complex
Two residents rescued from burning Shannon Valley apartment complex

This building in the Shannon Valley apartment complex is a total loss.
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (March 25, 2010) — Two residents of the Shannon Valley apartment complex are in serious condition after being pulled out of a burning second-floor apartment, firefighters reported early Thursday morning.

Both were treated for smoke inhalation and did not suffer burns, according to Mike McCart, deputy chief of the Pulaski County Ambulance District. A few other residents of the 16-unit apartment building were treated and released at the scene for minor cuts and bruises, he said; no firefighters or other emergency personnel were hurt.

Deputy Chief Drew Cassidy of the St. Robert Fire Department said the blaze eventually became a five-alarm fire with firefighters being called in from as far away as Lebanon and Doolittle to assist. The cause of the blaze isn’t yet known, but officials with the state fire marshal’s office are on the scene attempting to determine what happened.

“It went up very fast, and it appears to have started outside one of the apartments rather than inside,” Cassidy said.

McCart and neighbors confirmed that the blaze erupted very quickly.

“When they first paged it out, they paged it out as two people entrapped and the building fully engulfed in fire,” McCart said. “I was one of the first on the scene behind the ladder truck, and it was cooking.”

It’s not yet clear how many people were actually living inside the burned apartment building, which mostly houses military personnel and civilians working at Fort Leonard Wood. The building is considered a total loss, and Cassidy said at least 12 of the 16 apartments were burned or suffered major smoke and water damage.

“There are only four apartments that are still unaffected, and those are the ones at the very end—pretty much all the others were affected,” Cassidy said.

Determining the cause of the blaze will be complicated because of the extent of damage. Cassidy confirmed that the floor between the first and second levels of the apartment complex was breached in multiple places, and some of the building’s exterior walls are so unstable that firefighters had to use caution in where they directed water streams to avoid collapsing the walls.

“It’s pretty well gutted on the inside,” Cassidy said.

The blaze erupted shortly after midnight. Firefighters from Waynesville, St. Robert, Fort Leonard Wood, Tri-County in Richland, and Crocker were present on the scene; additional backup arrived from the Lebanon City Fire Department, Dixon Rural Fire Protection District, and Doolittle Rural Fire Protection District after Waynesville firefighters called for a second alarm. Those additional firefighters filled stations in Waynesville and St. Robert for potential additional fire response.

Pulaski County Ambulance District personnel, Waynesville police, and state troopers are on the scene as well.

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