South St. Louis house fire leaves man dead and firefighter burned

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – A smoky house fire in south St. Louis kills a man, even though his home was equipped with smoke alarms. The problem is they had no batteries in them.

The fire started just before 12:30 P.M. Thursday afternoon in the 4400 block of Neosho street.

Josephine Davi, 83, lives two houses down from the fire scene.

“I went over to the house and banged on the door and hollered his name and went to the back and nobody answered,” Davi said.

That`s probably because the victim was upstairs and may have already been unconscious. They believe the fire started in a second floor back bedroom.

“We located him in the front of the second floor, so the bedroom is towards the back so the investigators will unwrap what happened here,” said St. Louis Fire Department Information Officer Capt. Garon Mosby.

“The whole point in having those smoke alarms is that whether you are asleep, alert, whatever you are doing you hear that distinct sound and it gives you that early notification to get out of the residence,” Mosby said. ‘Not the case here today.’

Neighbors say the victim and his wife lived in the home for several years, but were not well known in the neighborhood.

The victim`s wife was at work when the fire started.

“It`s terrible, scary.” said Davi. “I have been here for 54 years, and this is a first for me.”

“I don`t want to see another one.”

One firefighter was treated for minor burns to his face.

This weekend is when we change the clocks, which is also when firefighters say you should change the batteries in your smoke detector.

They will be out this weekend giving them away in several neighborhoods. They are also always available for free to city residents at Fire Department Headquarters.

The number there is 314-289-1900.