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Arrests made after apartment house fire

Arrests made after apartment house fire

November 19th, 2011 in News

Jefferson City fire and emergency crews responded to a Saturday fire on East Capitol Ave. just after noon. The renters, who were at home at the time, escaped unharmed.

Photo by Deborah Cote

A second Saturday fire in the Capital City is being attributed to children playing with matches at an apartment house.

The mother and father of the children have been arrested and are facing possible child endangerment charges.

Authorities said the couple's three children are being taken care of by other family members.

The names of the couple were not released pending the filing of formal charges.

According to fire department reports, crews were called around 12:10 p.m. to 1018 E. Capitol Avenue.

Initial reports were three juveniles were inside a second floor apartment and not able to get out.

Eyewitnesses told reporters that a passerby saw the fire and alerted residents to call 911.

"In talking with the owners of home, Capital City Properties, we were told that the family had just moved in," said Fire Chief Bob Rennick. "We also learned that a lock had been put in to keep the kids from venturing out of the apartment, unbeknownst to the owners, and that the kids and other family members could not get the door open to get out."

Rennick said apparently somebody in the neighborhood kicked down the door and that allowed those inside to get out by the time fire crews arrived on the scene.

"The home appeared to meet city code," Rennick added. "They recently remodeled the main floor."

Three families were displaced by this fire, which rendered two of the apartments in the house uninhabitable.

The Red Cross was able to get hotel rooms and other items for those displaced by the fire.