Fenton Family Loses Foreclosed Home To Fire

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FENTON, MO (KPLR) -  A Fenton family facing foreclosure was forced out of their Fenton home unexpectedly from a fire that started in their garage Thursday around Noon.

Sheila Douglas is the homeowner who was in tears but relieved to hear all 3 family members who were home when the fire started were able to escape.

She said her son, 36-year-old Justin Douglas, his girlfriend, 23-year-old Ashley Prescott and their 2-year-old daughter Faith all escaped from a smoke filled basement thanks to police and firefighters.

Fenton Fire Deputy Captain John Batterton said flames were pouring out of the garage when firefighters first arrived.

Batterton believes that`s where the fire started.

St. Louis County police officers hear cries for help from the basement.  The smoke was too thick to make a rescue so firefighters busted out basement windows and pulled the victims to safety.

A veteran fire captain made the rescue.

"He's been on the job for 17 years and this was his 1st rescue and he said it was a great feeling for him," said Batterton.

Sheila Douglas said she runs a nursing business that's struggling.  She said as a result of the foreclosure the gas had just been shut off.

"It could have blown up," said Douglas.  "I'm so thankful.'"

Douglas said her son, his girlfriend and their child show no signs of any burns but all three were taken to area hospitals to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Douglas said the American Red Cross is helping her with a temporary hotel room but has no idea what her family will do.

She and 10 other family members were living at the house.

Douglas is concerned she`ll be blamed for the fire because the house was in foreclosure.

"This was an accident," said Douglas.

Batterton says the cause of the fire is not known.