Fire at Cape Girardeau apartment kills dog

Thursday, August 11, 2005

No humans were injured in a fire Wednesday evening at 401 S. Pacific St., but a dog lost its life.

The Cape Girardeau Fire Department received a call at about 5:30 p.m. of a fire in the upper levels of Huggins' Apartments. They arrived on the scene to see smoke coming out of the windows.

While two of the building's residents were there at the time, one of them disabled, both made it out safely. Two cats and a dog were also rescued, but another dog wasn't so lucky, dying from smoke inhalation. Neighbors said the dog belonged to building residents Mary and Rodney Mansfield.

Emergency medical technicians tried to revive the dog using oxygen as the hysterical owner bent over the pet in the grass in front of the apartment.

Anthony Williams, who was outside the apartment building when the fire started, was one of the first to notice the fire.

"I complained of smelling something like something burning and I didn't know what it was," Williams said. "I walked around the block on the sidewalk, and that's when I noticed smoke coming out of the window."

Williams said when he went inside the building, thick smoke was rolling down the stairs. Williams, along with other neighbors across the street like Nick Donley and Cindy Kowalski, helped get the residents out of the building. Neighbors said the Mansfields weren't home at the time, but that Mary came to try and rescue the pets when she heard about the fire.

Resident Glenn Wright said he was inside and began to see smoke coming through his air-conditioning vents. That's when he heard a knock on the door and got out, leaving several oxygen tanks behind.

Fire chief Rick Ennis said the fire started on the second floor and spread to the third and that the cause is still under investigation.

The fire was put out quickly, but the third floor was severely damaged from fire, smoke and control damage from firefighters accessing empty spaces inside walls to make sure the fire was out.

The building is currently owned by Herbert Huggins, whose son, Darryl, said the damage should be taken care of through insurance.

msanders@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182

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