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Fire destroys long-time, St. Peters business, sends 2 firefighters to a hospital

Almost everything in the business was destroyed in the fire, but one work shirt was barely damaged. For Dan Hackman, he sees it as a glimmer of hope.

ST. PETERS, Mo. — Before sunrise, intense flames shot from all sides of the building. Dan Hackmann raced to his family's warehouse in St. Peters.

"I got a call at four o'clock Thursday morning and I was kind of shocked," said Dan Hackmann, co-owner of Hackmann Brothers Oil.

Hackmann said a guy drove north on St. Peters Parkway, saw the massive fire and banged on his mom's home next door. The stranger quickly got Hackmann's mother to safety as the fire engulfed Hackmann Brothers Oil company.

"My mom was scared to open her door at first because she didn't know what was going on at the time," Dan Hackmann said.

Two firefighters battling the flames fell through a floor and into a maintenance pit filled with debris and water.

One suffered minor injuries. The other went to a hospital as a precaution.

RELATED: 2 firefighters injured while battling large fire at St. Peters warehouse

Dan Hackmann is relieved nobody was seriously hurt.

"Yeah, that's a big relief because like I said, I think it was my fault. I didn't tell them about the grease pit," Hackmann said.

About 50 years ago, Harold Hackmann started his family's business that distributes fuel and oil to area businesses.

As he looked at the now-charred shell, piles of computers, file cabinets and other supplies lost in the fire, Dan Hackmann said they will rebuild.

Right now, the Hackmanns are still adding up all the losses.

In the midst of all the torched items, Hackmann found a work shirt that was barely even singed. It belonged to Jeff Haupt, a former employee who died several years ago.

For Dan Hackmann, it was a glimmer of hope.

"I just think his shirt was in all that stuff. I mean, so much stuff burned and was destroyed, but his shirt was not even really damaged. I think he's looking down on us. Yes, things will get better," said Dan Hackmann.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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