Families left without home after suburban St. Louis apartment fire

Monday, October 19, 2009 | 8:19 a.m. CDT; updated 9:34 a.m. CDT, Monday, October 19, 2009

SHREWSBURY — Investigators have found that a Shrewsbury apartment fire that left 20 people without a place to stay was sparked by a space heater. No one was injured.

The fire happened Sunday morning at the River Crest Apartments in suburban St. Louis. Investigators told KSDK-TV that the fire began when a blanket was too close to a space heater in a child's room. The child alerted his parents who tried to put the fire out before escaping.

Neighbor Travis Hall and his pregnant girlfriend were trapped with their kids in their second-floor apartment. Hall said he tied the children into sheets and lowered them down, before firefighters were able to send a ladder up for the adults. About 50 people were evacuated from the burning building and two others.

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