HANNIBAL (WGEM) — Investigators said Saturday’s deadly Hannibal apartment fire was caused by the victim who fell asleep while smoking a cigarette.
Firefighters said the blaze broke around 8 a.m. inside the Hannibal Housing Authority high rise at 100 North 11th Street.
“I was sleeping and I woke up to someone banging on my door. “It was Linda and she said, ‘You have to get out now the building is on fire,'” said Dale Meyers, one of the dozens forced to evacuate.
Meyers said smoke filled the halls and staircase as he walked down from his fifth-floor apartment.
“Yeah, I mean, I was going down the stairs and the whole staircase was plum full of smoke,” said Meyers talking about how it all happened so fast. “Firemen had it out by the time I got down here, so they’re on the ball.”
Hannibal firefighters said they were able to put out the fire quickly when they got to the scene,
“When they arrived on the scene, they found fire on the third floor. “They contained the fire to the room it was initially in,” Hannibal Fire Department Deputy Chief Ryan Neisen said.
He said afterward, crews continued to help out at the scene, moving many of the residents to the church across the street where they got help from the American Red Cross.
“It was a challenge. It’s a six-floor building. We have a lot of elderly and handicap people that live in this building, so getting those people out of the building was a time consuming and challenging process,” Neisen said.
Meyers said it was sad to learn someone passed away.
“[I’m] sorry [for] the family and I pray for them,” said Meyers.