INDIANA (KDKA) – Two homes in Indiana County were destroyed by an early Tuesday morning fire.

According to officials at the scene, the fire started in a home in the 400-block of South Seventh Street around 3 a.m.

The person who lives in the home where the fire started was not home at the time.

However, next door, several college kids were home.

“There was just smoke everywhere. So, we ran to his room and climbed out the window because our staircase was completely engulfed in flames,” Chase Gunn said.

Two of the young men are students at IUP. Their friend was in town visiting from Florida for spring break. They were in their second floor apartment when they smelled smoke.

“I looked up and there were flames from the top floor. And I looked down and I saw three flashlights from the cops saying, ‘Come on let’s go,’” Alex Minnis said.

“I didn’t realize that the house was about to burn down. So, we didn’t really grab much. I grabbed my backpack, but that was it,” Jeremy Zitas said.

One of the tenants said that two girls live in the upstairs apartment of the house, and two more live in the downstairs apartment. Everyone got out safely and they say IUP will help them with housing. The state police fire marshal was at the scene Tuesday morning investigating the cause of the fire.

Both homes are a loss.

While the crews worked to contain the flames at the two homes, they were also working to protect a third next door to where the fire is believed to have started.

It did suffer some damage, but crews were able to save the home.


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