DE SOTO, Mo. - A massive fire gutted two buildings in downtown DeSoto and sends one person to the hospital.
Assistant Chief James Maupin, DeSoto Fire Department, said a fire captain noticed the fire on Main Street when he was driving by about 8:30 p.m. Monday night.
Firefighters from the DeSoto Rural Fire Protection District were among the first to get to the scene. They rescued a man and a woman from an upstairs apartment. The woman went to the hospital with smoke inhalation but has since been treated and released. The man was not hurt.
Maupin said more than 100 firefighters from 19 different agencies rushed there to help.
The two buildings that burned share a wall. The first floor of both buildings was a church outreach program for recovering drug and other addicts called Global Gospel Outreach.
There were two apartments upstairs, one of which was occupied.
Fire crews fought the flames for three to four hours before getting them under control.
Larry Dean, the church pastor, lives at the church and was inside when the fire started. He said he heard a pop and then saw smoke and flames. Dean suspected an electrical problem started the fire.
The Illinois State Fire Marshal has been called in to help investigate.
Maupin said there was nothing immediately suspicious about the fire. Besides the fire itself, he said the other big challenge for crews was all of the water they were using was freezing. Chemicals helped with that. No firefighters were hurt putting out the blaze.