The St. Joseph Police and Fire departments made sure no one was hurt early Monday morning as fire tried to eat a circa 1890's two-story brick building on North 11th street.
Police officer Aaron King rushed into the left side and rescued a young mother and her child from the upstairs smoke-filled apartment on the north side, said Russell Moore, the battalion chief.
The mother and child had been asleep and didn't even know there was a fire.
The fire at 605 North 11th St. was in several upstairs rooms but no cause had been determined early Monday. The house sustained substantial damage from flames, smoke and water on the south side units, said Jason Ziph, an inspector.
Mr. Moore ordered arriving fireman to do a search and rescue because of reports of someone living in the south side upstairs apartment. No one was found.
Windows in the southwest room self ventilated, exploding outward as temperatures rose in the room and the fire sought oxygen, Mr. Moore said.
Firefighters aggressively fought the flames dragging two hose lines into the building.
Another fireman used the deck gun, a large nozzle, on Engine 1 to send thousands of gallons of water pouring into the upstairs apartment, Mr. Moore said.
Another team of fireman used a third line to wet down the house to the south belonging to Jackson and Evelyn Jordan Isaacs, who also were evacuated.
Mrs. Isaacs took the family dog out at 4 a.m. Monday and didn't smell anything but did see a man on the next door porch, Mr. Isaac said.
The flames were nothing but smouldering ash in about 30 minutes but fireman continued working until 6 a.m. Monday checking for hot spots. They used an old fashioned pike to pull down plaster and lathe boards. Each time they found a cavity where fire was hiding more water doused out the flames and blackened wood.
"They try to minimize the damage but they have to make sure its out," Mr. Moore said.
The building sustained an estimated $50,000 in damages, Mr. Ziph said.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service