This apartment building on Westwood Drive in Festus was damaged by fire.

This apartment building on Westwood Drive in Festus was damaged by fire.

An apartment building in the 600 block of Westwood Drive in Festus was significantly damaged Sunday morning (Aug. 9) by a fire authorities believe was caused by lightning, Festus Fire Chief Kevin Cremer said.

“Three of the four (units) were occupied. Everyone got out safely,” Cremer said. “There were no injuries.”

However, the tenants were forced to find other housing, he said.

Cremer said two of the occupied units had pets.

“There was a cat in one. In another, there were two cats and a ferret,” he said. “They all got out safely.”

At 5:30 a.m., the Festus Fire Department got a call about the fire, Cremer said.

“It was an apparent lightning strike that started it,” he said. “When we arrived, we had flames in the attic and we had to pull out ceiling."

The apartments are uninhabitable until repairs are completed, Cremer said.

“They’re looking at six to nine months for it to be repaired, they’re telling me,” he said.

Firefighters remained on the scene for about three hours, Cremer said.

The Crystal City Fire Department and the Hematite, Dunklin and Jefferson R-7 fire protection districts helped with the call.

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