NEW BRIGHTON (KDKA) — Four people were taken to the hospital Saturday afternoon for smoke inhalation after fire erupted at a Beaver County apartment complex.
The fire broke out just before 4 p.m. at the Mulburry Apartment Building in the 600-block of 6th Avenue in New Brighton. The building houses 18 total apartments.
Rich Bennett, a resident of the building, spoke with KDKA shortly after being released from the hospital for smoke inhalation.
“I seen the lady stick her head out, and I seen the smoke coming out,” said Bennett. “I knew it had to been a fire, so I ran in the house, told her to call the fire department. I ran up to the second floor, tried to get the door open, couldn’t get it open. Some guy came in and knocked it down.”
That man was Brent Lambert. He and his father were on their porch when the fire started.
“My son come over, was with me. He’s the one who got the fire extinguisher and started hitting the inside, and he went in there and broke the door,” said Boyd Lambert.
The brave act, the fire chief says, was a big help before crews arrived on scene.
“He was able to knock that fire down so the fire didn’t spread into any of the other apartments,” said New Brighton Fire Chief Jeffrey Bolland.
While Lambert’s son and Bennett were inside knocking on doors and evacuating dozens of people inside, Boyd Lambert rescued a woman from her window.
Lambert says the man inside with her refused his help.
“The gentleman didn’t want to come out. He just stood there,” Lambert said.
Firefighters say it was in that couple’s apartment where the fire started.
While firefighters initially believed the flames were sparked by a lit cigarette, investigators now say there may be a different cause and it remains under investigation.
Four people, including the man and woman who were inside the apartment where the fire started, were taken to Beaver Medical Center for treatment of smoke inhalation. The man and woman remain hospitalized.
New Brighton’s fire chief says the apartment complex didn’t have working fire detectors. It’s an issue he plans to speak with the building’s owner about.
Because the damage was confined to the second floor apartment where the fire broke out, the other residents were allowed back in their apartments Saturday night.