Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Firefighters Battle 4-Alarm Blaze West of Downtown St. Louis

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Firefighters Battle 4-Alarm Blaze West of Downtown St. Louis

Article excerpt

ST. LOUIS * Fire extensively damaged a vacant two-story building west of downtown Monday that was to have been renovated into apartments.

The fire, at 1900-1916 Washington Avenue, broke out shortly before 1:30 p.m. About 80 St. Louis firefighters battled the four- alarm blaze with high ladders and a ring of pumpers to pour water onto flames bursting through the roof and windows.

Brisk wind from the west blew smoke into downtown.

No one was injured.

Fire Capt. Garon Mosby said the first units to arrive entered the building but were ordered out as the "fast-moving" fire spread quickly inside.

Mosby said it was too early to learn a cause for the blaze. He said the building utilities had been shut off, and said it was possible that vagrants had set fires inside to keep warm.

But he and police commanders said no one had seen anyone flee the building.

Rothschild Development Co. owns it and planned to renovate it into 34 apartments with an open interior courtyard.

It was built in 1919 as the Gordon Buell Building and had storefront shops on the first floor and warehouse space on the second. …

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