Fire destroys Bartonville apartment

By Joe Bennett

July 11, 2012 Updated Jul 11, 2012 at 10:17 PM CDT



A century old building filled with low income housing was destroyed by fire in Bartonville Wednesday afternoon.

Police believe burning coals from a grill may be to blame.

Bartonville Fire Chief Mike Cheatham says the call came in just 1:30 pm.

He says Bartonville and Limestone fire fighters arrived within minutes.

Cheatham says the fire spread quickly due to the hot and dry weather, but they were still able to contain it.

Jake Ward was driving through Bartonville when he saw flames in a bush beside 5609 South Adams Street.

"I didn't even think about it," Wards says.  "I did a u-turn and came back and ran in the building to tell people. There was one guy I saw, I told him and by the time I came around to the front side of the door the whole front of the building was already up in flames."

According to Police Chief Brian Fengel, "It looks like it might have been some type of charcoal, that one of the residents could have been grilling out or something to that nature, but as of now it's still under investigation. We're looking at it."

Chief Fengel says one tenant on the second floor jumped to safety from a window.

The man was then taken to an area hospital reportedly with a broken leg.

Fengel adds the rest of the residents and a couple of pets were safely evacuated.

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