On an extremely hot and humid afternoon on the south side of St. Louis, on July 13th, Battalion Chief 803 radioed the Fire Alarm Office and reported he was investigating smoke in the area of Ridgewood Street. At the same time, Fire Alarm was receiving multiple phone calls reporting a building fire in the same vicinity.
The fire turned out to be at the old Mid-America Fiber Company, the site of previous multiple alarm fires.
As companies arrived, the fire was extending to exposure buildings and 2nd and 3rd alarms were quickly requested. A 2 engine special was also called after the 3rd alarm.
A huge black column of smoke could be seen throughout the city. At the height of the blaze, 8 aerial pipes were up and flowing.
The St. Louis FD dispatched 12 engine companies, 3 hook and ladder companies, and 2 rescue squads. Affton FPD Eng. 1124 which was moving up to a St. Louis engine house, was diverted to the fire.
Part of the complex was being renovated into offices and lofts.
The cause of the fire was unknown at this time.