LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. (KMIZ)
A massive fire that broke out Tuesday at a condominium building at the Lake of the Ozarks was likely caused by a barbecue grill and has been ruled accidental.
Lake Ozark Fire Chief Mark Amsinger said the Missouri State Fire Marshal was called in to do the investigation and found that a gas grill on the third-floor balcony was the cause of the fire.
More than 50 firefighters from the Lake Ozark Fire Protection District, as well as more than a dozen other agencies including Cole County Fire, responded to the scene at the Emerald Bay Condominiums on Tuesday night, No one was hurt.
Jennifer Steele, a resident of one of the condos who was inside when the fire started, said Wednesday that she heard a whistling noise from inside her condo and went to see where the noise was coming from.
Steele said that's when a neighbor yelled that the condo was on fire and to get out.
Amsinger said firefighters arrived to find a four-story building with heavy flames.
Steele said there were eight people inside the building when the fire started.
Amsinger said the upper floors of the condo building had heavy fire damage and the lower unit had a lot of water damage from efforts to stop the fire.
"It's pretty heavily damaged," Amsinger said. "So I don't think there's much that's salvageable in there."
Amsinger said firefighters were able to use two hydrants that are within the complex as well as the lakefront to help knock the fire down.
Amsinger said there was a residential sprinkler system within the building, that was up to code. The building was inspected in March.
Steele said the condo managers told her they are going to quickly rebuild. Steele said the managers did not provide an exact timeline of that work.
Amsinger said it's important for everyone to check their grills and make sure the hoses and fittings are in good condition.
Stay up-to-date on this developing story here and on ABC 17 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.