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Residents rescued from apartment fire in Moline, suspect arrested on arson charges

Several residents were yelling for help from their balconies and were helped by property maintenance staff, a nearby tree crew and the fire department.

MOLINE, Ill. — Several residents were rescued after a fire burned the second floor of an apartment building in the Timber Knoll Apartments complex in Moline Wednesday morning, according to a press release from the Moline Fire Department.

When the fire department arrived on scene, they saw dense black smoke coming from the second floor and roof of the building. Some residents were on their balconies, yelling for help.

There were property maintenance personnel working in the area at the time, along with workers from Asplundh Tree Service, who joined together to use ladders to start the rescue process. The fire department joined when they arrived on scene and also began to work on the fire.

The firefighters found that the inside staircase was burned and the building's integrity was compromised.

Several occupants were treated on scene by paramedics and two residents were transported to the hospital by ambulance.

The building consists of 16 units, and residents were alerted by a working smoke detector.

Crews were on scene for about 4 hours to look for hot spots in the fire and for salvage purposes.

Later, the Moline Police announced that an arrest had been made in connection to the incident. 

In the news update released at 5:42 p.m., police said that as investigation into the cause of the fire was underway, witnesses reported seeing a person inside the complex just moments before the fire holding what appeared to be a gas can.

Evidence and interviews pointed police in the direction of Frederick McKenzie, a former resident of the complex, who was subsequently arrested and charged with aggravated arson and residential arson.

McKenzie is being held in the Scott County Jail on $100,000 bond awaiting extradition to Rock Island County.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers of the Quad Cities at 309-762-9500 or the Moline Police Department Criminal Investigations Division at 309- 797-0401.

Original story:

Moline police are asking residents to avoid 53rd Street between 38th and 36th Avenues Wednesday morning as crews battle an apartment fire. 

The fire is under control as of 11:20 a.m. at the Timber Knoll Apartment complex at 3741 53rd Street. 

Several ambulances were on the scene to treat those impacted by the fire. 

Once at the scene, News 8 observed heavy smoke and several people standing out on balconies as firefighters worked to put out the fire and help people evacuate. Construction workers in the area were also helping folks get down from the apartment balconies.

The Moline Fire Department told News 8 that residents of the apartment have been loaded onto a MetroLINK bus in the meantime to stay warm. Everyone was evacuated from the building.

News 8 will update this news story as more information is made available. Download our app and subscribe to our YouTube channel for updates.

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