Apartment fire in West End; kids taken to hospital

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – Two young boys found lifeless in an apartment fire rescue are expected to make a full recovery.

St. Louis firefighters were sent to an apartment fire in the 800 block of Clara around 5 p.m. Thursday night. Two boys, ages 2 and 4, were trapped inside.

The smoke was so thick inside the burning first floor unit that firefighters said they couldn’t even see their own hands in front of them.

The two children were in cardiac arrest. Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson said the first firefighters on the scene began breathing for the boys on the lawn outside the apartment complex until the ambulance arrived. They were rushed to St. Louis Children’s Hospital and were up and talking within an hour.

Jenkerson commended their effort.

“It’s a tough job to find people hidden in a closet or small room and you have heavy smoke and fire,” he said. “These are top notch crews.”

The children were alone in the house at the time of the fire. Fire officials could not locate the boys’ parents at the scene. There were also no working smoke detectors inside the unit.

“By ordinance, the owner of this property is responsible for making sure that they have working smoke detectors in these apartments. We’re investigating that right now. We’re checking the whole building right now,” Jenkerson said.

Fire and police officials are investigating the cause of the fire but at this point they do not believe it was set intentionally.