By Bob Allen

BRIDGEVILLE (KDKA) – Several people are homeless after intense flames swept through an apartment building in Bridgeville overnight.

According to emergency dispatchers, the fire broke out in the 600-block of Baldwin Street around 3:40 a.m. There were residents living in four apartment units.

Officials say they believe the fire may have started in a kitchen in one of the apartments.

“I woke up to this and started coughing, smelled smoke, and went downstairs and just seen fire in my kitchen,” said resident Desiree King.

The blaze spread quickly through the three-story, wood-framed building. Susan Craddock also woke up to the smell of smoke in her apartment.

“There was just smoke everywhere; [my boyfriend] went to check the radiator,” said Craddock. “I just told him we had to get out right now. I grabbed my phone, called 911 and started banging on everyone’s doors.”

Fortunately, none of the residents were injured. However, flames engulfed the building so fast that firefighters had no chance to save the structure.

“We’re tearing it down now because the building is unsafe; a lot of collapse in the building,” said Chief Bill Chilleo, of the Bridgeville Fire Department. “We can’t get to areas where the fire is still burning.”

The flames were so intense they scorched the side of an occupied house next door. One firefighter was treated for a minor health issue.

Even as the building was being demolished, flames could still be seen in the attic.

The residents were feeling fortunate that they got out safely. However, most, if not all of their possessions were destroyed along with the building.

“Everybody got out safely, that’s the most important part,” King added.

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