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Fire rips through Hannibal apartment complex

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Courtesy of Jeff Mutchell
Courtesy of Jeff Mutchell

HANNIBAL (WGEM) -- Investigators said Friday that a Thursday night apartment complex fire in Hannibal was caused by a tipped over candle.

Fire broke out at the Park Terrace Apartments in the 1400 block of 30th Street in Hannibal Thursday night.

Property manager Paula Slater said fire crews were called to the scene at about 8:30 p.m. when heavy flames and smoke could be seen coming out of the building.

She said everyone made it out of the 12-unit building and there were no reports of injuries. However, Slater said all 17 tenants were displaced, and some residents said their pets were missing.

Tenant Angela Reagan's cat Gizmo was one of the pets missing after the fire.

"Very hard because he's like a child to me," Reagan explained.

Reagan did not have renter's insurance.

"No, never even thought about it," Reagan said.

Lew Aikman, a resident of the building and a maintenance worker for the complex, said he was asleep when the fire broke out.

"Above my apartment, the flames were shooting up out of the roof," Aikman said. "It's a pretty tragic deal. I've never been through anything like this."

Aikman said he planned to sleep in his office Thursday night, while Slater worked with the Salvation Army to find shelter for the other residents.

Hannibal Fire Chief Mike Benjamin said all off-duty personnel were called in to help fight the fire.

He also said crews had trouble getting water at first.

"What had happened was they drug the four-inch line up the hill and sometimes when that charges the line it will spin, it's supposed to have locks on it. Something might not have been locked and kicked it open and that might have given us a delay at first," Benjamin explained.

Benjamin said the fire was in the attic, which is why smoke spread to all 12 units in the building.

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