Multiple Departments Respond to Fire at Beardstown Assisted Living Facility Tuesday

By Jeremy Coumbes on May 31, 2023 at 9:34am

A Cass County assisted living facility was evacuated after a fire broke out Tuesday afternoon. The Beardstown Fire Department responded to Parkside Place assisted living center located at 1501 Canal Street at approximately 2:30 pm yesterday for a fire in one of the resident apartments.

Beardstown Fire Chief Brandon Hager says dispatchers were immediately notified of the fire by the facility’s alarm company. “Our first arriving truck got on scene and all the hallways were filled with smoke, so it was a little more than normal for these. They began the evacuation and called for mutual aid from Arenzville and Meredosia.

He began the evacuation process getting people out and identified which apartment the fire had started in. He got that door closed and secured and continued to get people out. As more firefighters arrived we continued getting evacuating, getting everyone out and getting accountability, and then moved into the fire apartment and got the fire knocked out.”

Chief Hager says the fire was caused by cooking oil that had been left on the stove.

He said at the scene Tuesday that the fire was contained to the apartment it started in, however, smoke damage was throughout the building likely displacing a number of residents.

There are 24 residents of this facility and as of right now we’re going through apartment by apartment and verifying that the air quality is good and that everything is breathable air. We’re also waiting for a call back from the alarm company. If they can come tonight and get it back up and in operation, as long as everything checks out with air quality we’ll allow the residents to stay the night.

If they don’t get here tonight, the Red Cross is taking charge of working on getting arrangements for any of the residents who don’t have a family member or another place to go to.”

No residents were injured. Hager says one firefighter was transported by ambulance to Culbertson Hospital out of an abundance of caution after showing signs of possible heat exhaustion.

Also responding to the scene were the Arenzville Fire Department, Meridosia Fire, and Rescue Squad, AirEvac 27, Beardstown Police, Cass County Sheriff’s Office, and Ameren Illinois.

The Beardstown Fire Department says a special thanks is also owed to Cass County Health Department staff who assisted members of the Red Cross with the accountability of patients.