Woman, injured in fire, taken to hospital's burn center

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 | 10:14 p.m. CST; updated 12:29 a.m. CST, Thursday, February 24, 2011

COLUMBIA — A fire at Forest Village Apartments on Providence Road in south Columbia caused a woman to be sent to University Hospital's George D. Peak Memorial Burn and Wound Center. 

Steve Sapp, public information officer with the Columbia Fire Department, said the woman had burns over a significant part of her body. She is between 50 and 60 years old, he said. Sapp was unable to identify the woman.


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Rachel Derges, a 19-year-old Moberly Area Community College student, found the woman. Derges said she had just arrived at her apartment when she saw flames coming from the other building. She said she ran to the building and saw the woman lying on the ground outside of the building. 

"I took my coat off and patted the fire off because pretty much all her clothes were gone," Derges said. 

Of the woman's clothes, only the sleeves, waist area and shoes were still attached, Derges said. 

Derges also said that the woman was responsive when she found her. She said she asked the woman if anyone else was in the apartment, and the woman said there was not. 

Sapp said the Fire Department was dispatched to the scene at 7:41 p.m. and the fire was under control by 8:10 p.m. Three fire engines, a ladder and a heavy rescue truck responded to the scene, he said.

Sapp said he was unsure whether fire alarms in the apartment were working properly. He also said the apartment building was built before the requirement of automatic fire sprinklers, so it probably was not equipped with them. 

Sapp said the cause of fire was unknown at the time.

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