UNIONTOWN (KDKA) — Five people were hospitalized and dozens of elderly residents were forced out into the cold Thursday night when fire broke out at a high rise apartment building in Fayette County.
The blaze broke out in a bedroom on the seventh floor of the Marshall Manor Apartments in Uniontown.
Many of the elderly residents huddle in the night’s cold temperatures with blankets and worried about when they would be able to get back into their apartments.
“I don’t know where we’re going to stay or if we’re allowed to stay here or what. I have a cat. We can’t go back to our apartments,” said Darnice Sherry, a resident. “Smoke, there’s too much smoke.”
While the fire was confined to just one apartment, there’s smoke and water damage throughout the seventh floor. None of those apartments are inhabitable.
Also, residents who live just above and just below the seventh floor can’t go back to their apartments just yet either.
Firefighters say they had a hard time getting the 90 or so elderly people out of the building.
“They’re very lackadaisical when the alarm goes off. And it’s in any high rise,” said Chief Chuck Coldren, of the Uniontown Fire Department. “Maybe after tonight they’ll take a little more hard look at, ‘gee, when that alarm goes off maybe we ought to start thinking about getting out of the building.’”
There were no serious injuries reported. However, five people – a firefighter, police officer and three residents – were taken to the hospital after being overcome by smoke.
Some residents are staying with relatives. Meanwhile, the Salvation Army is providing food and shelter for the other displaced residents.