Multiple homes seriously damaged in Jefferson City fire

Fire said to be accidental

Large fire in Jefferson City apartment building

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - We now know no foul play is suspected in a large apartment fire Thursday morning in West Jefferson City. 

Crews were called to the fire around 9 a.m. Thursday when smoke was seen coming form the Randal Drive building.

At least six apartments are now a total loss.

Neighbors said they couldn't believe how quickly the fire took over the building.

"I saw smoke coming out one of the windows, so I called 911. By the time I got off the phone, the whole building was on fire," said Randal Drive resident David Kroger.

When the Fire Department arrived, they said the building was already ablaze.

"When we got here on the scene, fire was coming out of the lower-level apartment and the second and the third floor were also involved. It had rolled up the decks and broken into those apartments," said Regional West Fire Chief Jack Brade.

The Regional West and Cole County Fire Districts fought the fire and had it put out within about three hours.

Then, investigators arrived and began looking for a cause. They said the fire started in a lower-level room. Investigators said they aren't quite sure what started the fire at this point, but they have ruled out anything electrical.

Fortunately, everyone in the building was able to get out safely, but their homes are completely destroyed.

The American Red Cross was on the scene offering assistance to anyone who might need it.

"If they have no place to stay, we'll try to get them into a motel for a couple of days. If their clothing has been damaged, we'll try to get them a voucher for clothing," said Mike Flanagan of the American Red Cross.

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