UPDATE: Raytown police have identified the man who was killed in this apartment fire as Nathaniel Swopes, a 69-year-old Raytown resident.
RAYTOWN, Mo. — A man is dead after a fire started at an apartment complex for seniors.
Firefighters responded to the emergency call at Bowen Tower around 1 p.m. The building is located near 61st Street and Raytown Road.
The Raytown Fire Protection District said smoke was showing from the second floor of the building when firefighters arrived.
Firefighters had the flames extinguished around 1:45 p.m.
Three other people from the high-rise building were injured in the fire and transported to hospitals.
“My wife and I was sitting in the kitchen and we heard a boom and then we heard the alarms go off and then all the sudden we looked out the window and we saw smoke and fire coming out,” David Tindall said.
Jonathan Schutte lives in the 11 story senior apartments two doors down from where the fire started with his dad. He and an apartment manager tried to save the man inside but there was nothing they could do.
“Me and him pushed the door in, there was flames and like a backdraft and immense black smoke. Within three minutes the hall from ceiling to floor was black smoke.”
The fire department said more than two dozen other people who live in the building are displaced.
“My heart is broken because he was my friend it’s like one of our family members is gone,” Tindall said.
A library across the street served as a temporary shelter for 21 displaced residents first with help from Taking It to The Streets.
“We know by hydrating them giving them snacks and just talking to them praying with them and encouraging them we know that can help to restore that hope or whatever is hurting in their life,” Scott Lamaster said.
And then the Red Cross who provided shelter for those who firefighters weren’t able to wheel back inside before they left. By nightfall, first floor residents were able to return, second floor apartments were still closed off because of smoke damage.
“We also are working with them to make sure they have their medications that could be lost in the fire or smoke or water damage,” Red Cross Communications Director Sherri Odell said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.