CAIRO - Five residents are homeless after a fire devastated the Cairo Senior Citizen Apartment Center early Friday morning.
Fire Chief Harold Muehe of the Northeast R-4 Rural Fire Association said flames were through the roof of the four unit complex when he arrived at the scene at 12:39 am. The Madison West Monroe Fire Department, the Eastern Randolph Fire Department and the Huntsville Rural Fire Department assisted with putting out the fire. Muehe said there were about 30 to 35 firefighters on scene and it took three hours to extinguish the flames.
With temperatures far below freezing, the fire departments encountered problems with the water lines and hydrants freezing. They ended up having to bring in tanks of water.
All five residents made it out safely. Two were sent to Moberly Regional Medical Center after being evacuated through a window in their apartment.
Muehe described the apartment complex as a "total loss." Friends and neighbors helped collect whatever items they could salvage Friday, including a family collection of salt and pepper shakers and an untouched bible.
Delbert Creed, president of the Cairo Senior Apartment Center board, said the board has not decided whether or not to rebuild and will discuss the matter after talking to its insurance provider.