McKEES ROCKS (KDKA) — A local man is being credited with saving the people who live in his apartment building in McKees Rocks after fire erupted there overnight.
Officials say the blaze destroyed the second and third floors of the three-story building in the 500-block of Chartiers Avenue. The fire started around 12:15 a.m.
A restaurant is on the first floor of the building while a total of seven residents lived in the apartments located on the second and third floors.
Authorities say many of those residents were asleep when the fire started; however, one tenant, Vince Russell, heard the alarms go off and smelled the smoke.
“I heard one alarm, and then I walked past the door again and I heard two alarms going off at that time,” Russell said. “When I heard the second alarm going off, I looked upstairs and I was like, ‘We’re on fire!’”
That’s when Russell went through the building, knocking on doors, to alert his fellow residents to the blaze.
“I banged on everybody’s door. Then, I came back downstairs to my floor, got everybody off our floor,” he said.
“You just don’t think about nothing else, your just thinking about your lives,” Russell added. “You’re not thinking about possessions or stuff like that. When I saw it going up, I just said, we’re getting everybody out of here. I didn’t want nobody to lose their life.”
Officials say the last residents made it out just as the fire began to completely consume the building.
The fire marshal is investigating the cause, but officials believe a grease fire in the kitchen of one of the third-floor apartments may have started it.
As for the men displaced by the blaze, the Red Cross is taking care of them.