Fire strikes Montgomery City apartment building

Theo Tate

Firefighters respond to a fire that struck this apartment building on 810 Chestnut Street on Sept. 5. SUBMITTED PHOTO

It was a Labor Day weekend Cierra Lerch will never forget.

The 19-year-old had to evacuate out of her apartment at 810 Chestnut Street in Montgomery City on Sept. 5 after fire struck the four-unit building.

“There were nine fire trucks total (around the building),” Lerch said. “We stood outside from 7:30 that morning until 2 o’clock (that afternoon).”

Lerch lived in the bottom portion of the building. She recently moved into a new place in town after finding out her apartment was no longer livable because of the damage that was caused by the fire.

“It was a long week,” said Lerch, who had lived in the building for 10 months. “We were in a hotel for five days not having to worry about money. We were worried if we could get any of our stuff because the firefighters only went in to get our important stuff.”

Lerch said her neighbors also had to find another place to live.

“I know the girl who lived across the hall from us has already gotten new furniture, so I’m assuming she has somewhere to go,” she said. “The people who lived above me are younger and they’re teenagers, so I think they moved back with their parents.”

No one was injured in the fire. Firefighters rescued a small dog and a pet flying squirrel from the property.

Lerch said she thinks the blaze was caused by a cigarette that was lit by one of the neighbors.

“The ceiling was caved in on the bottom apartment underneath the fire, so we had water damage and smoke damage,” Lerch said. “So we weren’t allowed inside. The firefighters grabbed the stuff that was important. We didn’t have much choice (but to evacuate). So once we had everything they let us have, we started realizing how much stuff we didn’t have.”

Lerch said she and her 1-year-old son, Theo, received plenty of donated items, such as diapers, food and clothes.

“Everyone has been pretty nice and helpful,” she said.


Montgomery Standard

115 W. Third St.
PO Box 190
Montgomery City, MO 63361

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