Grandview group home fire displaces more than a dozen residents

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GRANDVIEW, Mo. -- A quick-moving fire temporarily forced more than a dozen residents at a group home out of their apartments on Friday night near High Grove and Parker.

The good news was that nobody was hurt in the fire, which for firefighters was a textbook blaze they extinguished in less than 10 minutes. By all accounts, a fire drill held Thursday helped save lives on Friday.

"Yeah, we had a staff member call. They were frantic," said Grandview Assistant Fire Chief Jim Toone.

The staff member rattled after 6 p.m. when the fire spread inside one of the resident's bedrooms. Fortunately, the person who lives in the now-partially destroyed unit was not here when the flames broke out.

Investigators say it was the first fire at this facility, which for the past 16 years has been a place people who are developmentally challenged call home. Investigators say when the fire started, all alarms sounded and the 15 residents and five staff members all got out safely.

"It's under investigation. We got an investigator digging on it right now. I think the hope is that we get these residents placed shortly tonight," Asst. Chief Toone said.

The Red Cross is pitching in to help the residents. They'll spend a night at a hotel before finding more permanent arrangements in the future.

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