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Residents moving forward after New Year’s Day fire in Jefferson City

Friday, residents from a two-family apartment in Jefferson City are moving forward after a New Year’s Day fire.

Thursday, Abc 17 News reported firefighters responded to a large apartment fire on West Main Street around 3:30 p.m. A 14-year-old is now facing charges for first degree arson.

Anwar Frazier said he was living in the apartment for less than a month. He said he was away from his home at the time of the fire. He came back to find the street blocked off and saw firefighters walking around the apartment.

“When I pulled up, it looked like it was awful close to my place, but I couldn’t really tell and went to the back alley,” Frazier said. “And when you see firemen walking around your house with axes and stuff, you know it’s not good.”

Frazier said the firemen told him his next-door neighbor was outside when he heard an explosion and saw a boy running away.

The 14-year-old arrested for arson used to live in the apartment before Frazier moved in, he said.

“I guess his mother had issues with the landowner, the property owner, so got evicted and he felt some kind of way about it, decided to come back and do this,” Frazier said. “But it’s my opinion it comes down to horrible parenting.”

Friday, members from the Jefferson City Police Department were surveying the apartments. Police said the fire was started by a gas container.

Frazier estimates he lost a few thousand dollars from the fire, as he did not have renters’ insurance yet.

“It all smoke damage,” Frazier said. “You know, once smoke gets into stuff how do you get rid of the smell? I’ll probably just leave it here. I don’t know.”

Frazier said he talked to the other family living in the apartment with eight children. He said they are still trying to figure out where they are going to live.

Frazier said he also talked to his landlord Friday. He said she is considering leveling the apartment because of the large amount of smoke damage.

Police said the 14-year-old boy is currently being held in a juvenile facility in Jefferson City.

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