A St. Louis firefighter among residents of a burned building

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Gavin Alfred has been a firefighter in St. Louis for three years. He was working in a medical unit on Wednesday when he asked to quit his job because his own apartment was on fire. The two-alarm fire started at the Laurel Park apartments on Jacobi Avenue in northern St. Louis County.

Firefighters from multiple departments, including Metro-North, North County, Ferguson and St. Louis City, were at the scene. A building of about eight apartments was damaged.

“A firefighter went to work and lost his house today,” apartment building resident Pamela Washington said.

Alfred said his background gave him a unique perspective and he was just relieved no one was hurt.

“Few people get a second chance in life,” he said.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined. Alfred was unable to enter his unit to assess the damage on Wednesday, but it appeared to be a total loss.

“There are people who live much worse than me,” he said.

Firefighters were able to control the flames without causing any injuries. Kim Allen was grateful that everyone is doing well and hopes the St. Louis community will rally together in need of help to replace what they have lost. Her daughter lives in one of the accommodations that appeared to be a total loss.

“You can replace material things,” Allen said. “Your life, you know, you can’t get it back.”

Alfred was grateful that no one in the building, including his partner and 8-year-old goddaughter, was injured. He also had a promise for his goddaughter.

“We’ll have a big Christmas this year,” Alfred said. “I’ll walk until I can’t walk anymore to make sure she’s happy and doesn’t get angry anymore.”

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