Fire swept through a large three-story apartment building early this morning in Des Moines that was a haven for handicapped and elderly residents. Fire Lieutenant Linda Frangenberg says they got a 9-1-1 call about flames shooting through the roof about 4:30 A-M, which she says is one of the worst times for a major fire.Most people in the building were asleep, so firefighters had to pound on doors and get people out while also trying to contain the fire. The South Ridge Village had 93 apartments, 88 of which were occupied. More than one hundred people were evacuated. NO serious injuries are reported. Frangenberg says it was hard evacuating some residents, many of whom are elderly and handicapped.The structure is heavily damaged. The roof is partly collapsed and some apartments are gutted in all three floors. There is no word yet on a possible fire cause. Frangenberg says the building was considered an “assisted living” center for the elderly and handicapped.
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