Metro-East News

Fire tears through Belleville apartment building

Belleville firefighters inspect the damage done to an apartment building on North 46th Street after a fire severely damaged it Wednesday night.
Belleville firefighters inspect the damage done to an apartment building on North 46th Street after a fire severely damaged it Wednesday night.

Neighbors who noticed smoke coming from an apartment building rushed to alert the tenants inside and then watched as part of it went up in flames Wednesday night.

Firefighters arrived at the Plaza Apartments at 204 N. 46th St. at 7:12 p.m. to find an apartment on the third floor of the three-floor building burning and flames coming through the western section of the building’s roof, Fire Chief Tom Pour said. Firefighters controlled the flames by 7:30 p.m.

Twin sisters Ciera and Kiera McNear and Ciera’s boyfriend Nathan Gibson were next door celebrating the twins’ 27th birthday with friends and family when they noticed smoke.

I told somebody to call 911 and we just ran over there and knocked on people’s doors and windows to let them know their building was on fire. They were appreciative. If my house was on fire, I’d want somebody to do the same thing. Thank God we were out here

Ciera McNear

“I told somebody to call 911 and we just ran over there and knocked on people’s doors and windows to let them know their building was on fire,” said Ciera McNear, who’s only lived next to the apartment building for a few months. “They were appreciative. If my house was on fire, I’d want somebody to do the same thing. Thank God we were out here.”

Some of the tenants were unable to exit their apartments through their entry doors because the hallway was filled with smoke, so they climbed down rear balconies to safety.

It could have been a lot worse. We were very fortunate (the fire) was on the third floor. All of those people were able to get out without injury

Belleville Fire Chief Tom Pour

“It could have been a lot worse,” Pour said. “We were very fortunate (the fire) was on the third floor. All of those people were able to get out without injury.”

No one was hurt in the fire. In addition to the third floor units damaged by smoke and fire, units below sustained some water damage. Some residents were displaced due to the fire.

Swansea, Northwest, East Side and Signal Hill firefighters were standing by ready to assist but were not needed.

Tobias Wall: 618-239-2501, @Wall_BND

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