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Three Hospitalized After Fire

Published On: Feb 16 2013 02:37:00 PM CST
Updated On: Mar 25 2013 04:18:40 AM CDT

***UPDATE SUNDAY 8:08 P.M.*** A Mid-Missouri family looks to rebuild after a Saturday night fire destroys an Eldon apartment complex. Fire crews say it took nearly four hours to get under control. Before they arrived, the man who lived in the apartment where it started tried to contain it himself. As of Sunday night, friends say he's still in the hospital recovering from burns to his hands, arms and lungs. One neighbor recalls flames shooting from the roof. He says his girlfriend drove by the home and didn't see anything, but just minutes later, as he was leaving, he saw flames in the sky. "However it happened, it went fast," the neighbor said. "Within 10 minutes the whole roof was on fire." Sunday it was possible to see the sky and trees through the apartment because the roof caved. Ashes and installation still covered the inside of the homes, homes that are no longer inhabitable. ABC 17's Janai Norman caught up with Norm Schiltz and his son Jordan as they recovered all they could from their apartment. They were home Saturday night when Schiltz says suddenly a gentleman "came running through his door." "He said, 'get out, Opie's apartment is on fire,'" Schiltz said. "I came out and the entire ridge line was billowing with smoke at that time." He says at one point crews nearly had the fire under control on the top level, but the fire re-ignited in between floors. "It's amazing to me that there wasn't more smoke inhalation with those fire fighters," Schiltz told ABC 17 News. Crews had to pull out part of Schiltz' roof in order to completely contain the flames. Today he says he was able to salvage more items than he thought he would be able to. "I'm just thankful I'm okay. I can put everything else back together." When that roof collapsed, it actually fell on three fire fighters. One was treated for injuries and has since been released. Fire crews say they're continuing to investigate the cause, but it doesn't appear to be anything suspicious. ***UPDATE SUNDAY 4:25 P.M.*** Moreau Fire Protection District officials said Sunday the cause of the apartment fire on Doyle Road, off Highway 54, remained undetermined but not suspicious. Fire crews from several jurisdictions remained on the scene until 2 a.m. - those included Moreau, Eldon, Russelville, Cole County, Rocky Mount and Lake Ozark. Officials also offered a clarification to the injuries reported Saturday night. Three Moreau firefighters were inside the apartments when the roof collapsed. One was injured, treated at a hospital and released. The other two were uninjured. The man who was taken from Lake Regional Hospital to University Hospital in Columbia for burns was not injured during the roof collapse, as ABC 17 News previously reported. He and an baby were taken for injuries sustained prior to the collapse. The baby was taken as a precaution, to be observed at the hospital. ***UPDATE SUNDAY 9:30 A.M.*** Several Red Cross volunteers are assisting families that have been displaced by Saturday night's fire at the apartment complex. Two families, totaling seven people, are receiving personal items and temporary stays at a local motel. A single resident was able to salvage personal belongings and declined assistance. ***UPDATE 9:56 P.M.*** One man has been taken by Staff for Life to University Hospital after a roof collapsed at an apartment complex on Doyle Road near Eldon. A firefighter respondng to the blaze was treated for burns and released Saturday night. A baby is also being observe at a hospital ut of caution because of smoke inhalation. As of 9:30 p.m. Doyle Road was closed as crews continued to investigate the fire. An ABC 17 News crew at the scene said the complex had four apartments, all suffering fire, smoke or water damage. The Red Cross was also at the scene, providing assistance for the families. ***ORIGINAL STORY*** The Moreau Fire Protection District is working two fires in the Eldon area Saturday night. An apparent apartment fire on Doyle Road just outside of town is large enough that Eldon fire crews are assisting in the effort. Another blaze has been reported on Highway CC, also outside of the city. An ABC 17 News crew is on the way. Stay with ABC 17 News as updates become available.

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