ST. LOUIS COUNTY – A 56-year-old man who died after he fell out of a third-floor window during a fire at a condo complex in Ellisville has been identified.
Patrick Hurley was pronounced dead at the scene.
Crews were called to Kiefer Creek Road and Carmel Woods Drive around 11:15 a.m. on Monday.
Firefighters said Hurley either jumped or fell out of a third-floor window at the facility and fell to his death. No other residents were hurt in the fire.
Two firefighters were transported to a hospital for minor burns.
"He had been hanging out the window with his leg and his arm out the window, and the smoke got to him and he collapsed and he fell right out the window head first,” said the man’s close friend and neighbor, Tori Schuchman.
Smoke detectors did go off at the building, but there were no sprinkler systems. Sprinkler systems are not required for this type of complex.
Several dozen people were evacuated from their condos as 75 firefighters from five different agencies contained the smoke and tried to figure out what had happened.
Police said an autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday and they are waiting for those results to determine a cause of death. They are also waiting for the fire department’s bomb and arson squad to complete its report.
Meanwhile, friends are remembering Hurley as someone who was giving of his time and talents.
“We’d spend time looking at wheels and tires and doing all that stuff together,” said Beau Campbell, who first met Hurley while working at a car dealership together. “We developed a friendship that grew something more than that.”
Campbell said he hasn’t been able to reach Hurley’s family yet, but wants them to know he is thinking of them.
“For all his friends and family out there, I want to send condolences. At the end of the day, I want to think Patrick, he’s in a better place. He’s not struggling, not fighting the battle, he’s happy.”
Red Cross volunteers are helping one adult and four children with assistance for emergency needs and lodging.
Schuchman said the man lived alone but has 2 sisters in St. Louis. She wanted to be sure that they knew what was going on, and how fond she is of their brother.
"All I can do is pray,” she said.