Seven families and 20 total people found themselves displaced after an early morning fire last Wednesday morning at the Creekside Apartments in Bowling Green.
All occupants from seven apartments, located at 100 Creekside Drive, reportedly were able to escape without injury. An eighth apartment was vacant at the time of the fire.
The North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC), a not-for-profit, owns and manages the property.
In a separate release from the NECAC, apartment residents Alan and Edith Dameron were working at an Elsberry nursing home when the fire broke out.
Upon arrival, they noted that their apartment had water damage.
“At least we can salvage our furniture,” said Edith Dameron, adding that they had found a place to stay.
NECAC has worked with the affected families to find temporary shelter. The American Red Cross also responded to provide disaster relief services.
“We’re there for them in their time of need,” NECAC Pike County Service Coordinator Chandra Roberts said in a press release. “We’ll work to make sure their needs are taken care of. We want to make sure they have a place to stay.”
NECAC plans to use proceeds from its Spring Fling Shopping Spree April 6 in Bowling Green for emergency service needs in Pike County. Roberts said the money would be used to help assist fire victims. The agency also received donations of money and clothing, which is being distributed to families.
“We appreciate everyone who has stepped up to help,” Roberts added.
Bowling Green Fire Chief Adam Mitalovich reported that two pets were rescued by firefighters.
Meanwhile, one firefighter was taken to the hospital to be checked out due to over exertion. He was later released.
No other injuries were reported. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Missouri Division of Fire Safety.
“We are so grateful that everyone is safe,” said NECAC Deputy Director for Housing Development Programs Carla Potts.
Chief Mitalovich said his department was dispatched at 4:47 a.m. on Wednesday, April 5 and they arrived on the scene in just 10 minutes.
They arrived to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the structure.
In a release, Chief Mitalovich said firefighters were able to perform an interior and exterior attack on the fire and had the fire controlled in a little over an hour.
Firefighters then remained on scene for several hours performing salvage and overhaul operations to make sure the fire was completely extinguished.
NECAC reported that the insured structure will be demolished. No decision has yet been made to rebuild. The two other buildings at the complex were not damaged and continue to be the home to several families.
Twelve firefighters responded to the fire with four apparatuses from the department.
To help in battling the large fire, the department was also assisted by the Buffalo Township Fire Protection District, Curryville Fire Protection District, Clarksville Fire Department, Eolia Community Fire Protection District, Frankford Fire Department, and the Louisiana Fire Department.
The Hannibal Fire Department also assisted the scene with a ladder truck due to the height of the apartments. Other assistance was provided by the Bowling Green Police Department and Pike County Memorial Hospital EMS.