OAKDALE (KDKA) – Several residents were displaced after an electrical fire at an apartment complex in Oakdale early Tuesday morning.
Tenants said over the past couple of days they’ve experienced electrical problems with a transformer just outside the building. However, the problem escalated this morning which caused a fire and left the tenants homeless.
As smoke billowed from the roof and fire peered through the cracks, tenants described the sounds from the transformer right before the fire erupted.
“Three big booms. One then we got out here and two more happened,” James Redding said. “Just thinking about getting out of there, be safe.”
“When we showed up, there was no active fire. Then the power line arced and it ignited the attic,” Assistant Chief Mike Hartman said.
Tenants said, a problem with the same transformer caused a power outage Monday morning.
Today, when the surge of electricity exploded at the building on West State Street, tenants watched on as blue and orange lights flickered around their apartments.
There was heavy fire, smoke and water damage in the attic and second floor area as well as minor damage to the basement after another surge of electricity. All 16 tenants were able to escape unharmed, but Redding said his dog was stuck inside while firefighters worked to contain the flames.
“The dog was left in there until they got the ok to go in there and try to find him. And we got him out safe. Everyone’s safe and sound,” Redding said.
The building owner said it will take several months, but he plans to make all the necessary repairs so he can get the tenants back in the building.
Meanwhile, Red Cross said of the displaced tenants, they’re assisting two families with food and shelter.
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