SOUTH PARK (KDKA) — The Allegheny County Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of a two-alarm fire at an apartment complex in South Park on Monday evening.
One of the tenants of the Parkford Apartment Complex took video with her cell phone when she first saw the smoke and flames coming from a neighbor’s apartment.
“And then it went up through the building and you could see it coming out,” said Prescious Malloy, a neighbor, “and then on the other side where the trees are, it busted through the window and it was really bad.”
The two-alarm fire forced about 20 people, most of them children, from their apartments and into the rain. Most of the fire damage was confined to a first floor apartment where the flames erupted.
But smoke damage was reported to at least three other units in the complex.
Fire victim Barbie Lanza said she, her children and her pets were able to get out safely, but she lost all of her children’s toys.
“All I care about is my kids’ stuff, that’s all,” said Barbie Lanza, a fire victim. “Me and him worked so hard to get everything; and I mean, it’s not burnt, but it’s all smoke damaged and we have to replace it all.”
“I seen all the flames shooting out of the window, and then it started going upstairs into the other one and there was smoke damage in all the surrounding apartments and everything,” added Terrence Ryan, another neighbor.
Volunteers from the Library Volunteer Fire Department luckily were close by when the call came in.
“When we got here, you could see it was visible in the rear bedroom,” said Assistant Chief Joseph Lawlor, of the Library Volunteer Fire Department. “The occupant – the homeowner – said that she had heard a noise, seen some smoke, got out of the apartment… very fortunate we were down below on another detail. We were able to get here, got a good response.”
Two adults and five children were being helped with food, temporary shelter and clothing.
Crews believe the fire may have broken out in a first floor bedroom at the rear of the complex.