UPDATE: Investigators said a homeless woman in an attempt to stay warm inadvertently set fire to the Parmentier Soetebier Storage Units.
Franklin County Fire Investigator Jim Schuhmacher said the woman, whose name was not released, called to report the fire just before 7 a.m. Friday morning, Dec. 22. The units are located off Old County Farm Road in Union.
The storage unit is one building with 57 units. Most of the units are approximately 8 feet by 20 feet in size, Schuhmacher said.
About 11 to 12 units in the middle of the building were destroyed, he added.
Fire walls on each side prevented the fire from spreading further, said Capt. Matt Tobben with the Union Fire Protection District.
The woman had rented out a storage unit and had been was living in a vacant unit adjacent to hers, officials said.
There is no electric or utilities in the units. The woman told police she had a candle burning inside the unit.
“The open flame came into contact with ordinary combustible material and ignited,” Schuhmacher said.
No foul play is suspected.
The units are owned by Bob Soetebier and Janell Parmentier.
St. Clair and Washington and Boles all provided assistance. Crews were at the units until 9 a.m., making sure the fire was out and checking for hot spots.
PREVIOUS UPDATE: There were no injuries reported.
PREVIOUS STORY: Union fire crews worked to extinguish a fire from storage units located on Old County Farm Road Friday morning, Dec. 22. The call came in just before 7 a.m.
Washington, St. Clair and Boles fire crews provided assistance on the scene.
Check emissourian.com for more details as they're available and see the full story in the Wednesday Missourian.