Fire at storage facility in Aurora leaves multiple people with losses

AURORA, Mo. (KYTV) -- A fire at a storage facility just outside Aurora has left multiple people with significant losses.

Firefighters were on scene for several hours at Crossroads Mini Storage, near HWY ZZ and K. The fire started around 7:00, Monday morning.

Witnesses say the block of units was engulfed in flames, and the building appeared to be a total loss.

The owner, Scott O'Reilly, says there were about two-dozen units in the building.

The business has been making contact with customers to let them know about the fire.

Larry Garrett and his wife say they've had belongings in the unit for 16 years. Their marriage license was in the unit, along with pictures of their daughter, items belonging to their brother-in-law and supplies for a home remodel they've been planning.

Garrett and neighbors who lives near the storage facility say they have seen a homeless woman staying at the location. With no power running to the units, they suspect the woman may have been trying to keep warm.

"I've got several years in the fire department," said neighbor Lonnie Henderson. "I've never been an investigator, but I would say it's a good cause of just poor ventilation and using propane or some sort of heating source in a confined space."

The Aurora Rural Fire Chief says someone was seen running from the area, but they have not yet said what may have caused the fire. The investigation has been turned over the the State Fire Marshal's Office.

Firefighters and Lawrence County deputies were keeping people away from the storage units Monday. The owner is doing his best to keep tenants informed.