Five people are without homes after an overnight fire destroyed a senior housing complex in Cairo Friday. Flames broke out in the Cairo Senior Apartments just north of Moberly around 12:30 A.M. Friday.Two residents had to break open their windows in order to escape. But the couple fell to the ground and were sent to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Pauline Wallace, 87, said she was thankful fire crews were able to carry the couple to safety when she couldn’t. Wallace tried to lift her neighbor who was lying on the sidewalk, after coming out of her apartment following the smell of smoke. She phoned her daughter, who lives three blocks away and rushed to her aid. Wallace said everything was a blur after that, firefighters took over and she said a lot of people came to help. A wheel-chaired bound man got out with help from his dog groomer, who not only saved his dog, but salvaged a precious keepsake, his mother’s photograph in a picture frame he hung in his living room. Northeast Rural Fire Association Fire Chief, Harold Muehe, said he expected the worst when he and his firefighters saw the flames going through the roof. He said about 35 firefighters from Easter Randolph County, West Monroe and Huntsville also helped out, along with emergency crews, State Highway troopers and deputies from the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department. The scene was chaotic, but the first thing was to get everyone out, said Muehe. All five people inside the building survived the fire, but the building is a total loss, said Muehe. The State Fire Marshall is investigating the cause, said Muehe, who adds it can be weeks before a cause is determined.
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