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Woman charged with arson after St. Louis fire critically injured man, displaced 24 families

Octavia Richardson, 30, was charged with First-Degree Arson that resulted in serious physical injury or death, St. Louis police confirmed.

ST. LOUIS — A woman has been charged after a fire in an apartment building critically injured a man and displaced 24 families.

The St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office issued a charge of first-degree arson resulting in serious physical injury or death against Octavia Richardson, 30, St. Louis police confirmed. 

Richardson lived in the 5600 block of Enright Avenue where the fire started, St. Louis police said. In a police interview, Richardson admitted to starting the fire, according to a probable cause statement obtained by 5 On Your Side.

St. Louis Fire Captain Garon Mosby said at the scene of the fire that fire crews arrived just after 7 a.m. Monday to the three-story brick building in the 5600 block of Enright Avenue to find heavy smoke coming from the upper floors.

Credit: St. Louis Metropolitan Police

Mosby said the fire started on the second floor of the apartment building. The building was occupied at the time. 

The department's Bomb and Arson Unit investigated the fire, police confirmed Friday. 

Al Scott and his neighbors were left outside the building with their belongings in hand Monday.

Scott, who has lived in the building for three years, told 5 On Your Side there was significant smoke damage. Some of his furniture and televisions were affected.

“The day after Mother's Day, you come back to see your apartment on fire. It just weighs heavy on you," Scott said.

A Tweet from the fire department in a thread about the fire said the fire displaced 24 families living in the building.

Credit: St. Louis Fire Department

"The smoke alarms were present and alarming. You could still hear them an hour after the fire so those works and that was good,” Mosby said.

Mosby added the occupant whose apartment that the fire started in was not at the scene.

The American Red Cross was helping the people in the apartment find new accommodations.

This is a developing story. Information will be added as it is confirmed.