BUTLER (KDKA) — A Butler apartment building is a total loss after a 3-alarm fire broke out Sunday morning.
It started between 9 and 9:30 a.m. in the 300-block of Center Avenue. Crews were on the scene for several hours before the fire was under control.
The fire started in apartments above a diner, but the cause of the fire is still unknown.
Drone video from Perspectrum, LLC shows the heavy amount of smoke surrounding the top floors of the building.
Residents told KDKA’s Bob Allen that they were alerted to the fire by smoke pouring into their units.
“Scary, because I didn’t know if everybody got out,” resident Karlee Quinn said.
Bryan Hutchens was just opening his family restaurant for the day.
“Everything was fine. We started getting our Sunday crowd. Next thing, you know, we had to evacuate the building,” he said.
Fortunately, all residents got out of the building safely.
The Red Cross is assisting 19 adults with food, clothing and shelter. The owner of the building says he will try to provide residents with accommodations.
In video from KDKA viewer Donovan Malovich, flames can be seen on the top floor of the building.
Firefighters from a number of different departments were on the scene to assist the Butler fire crews, but the flames proved challenging.
“We were knocking it down initially but there was so much fire in the walls and traveling up in to it, there was really no way to stop it,” Butler Fire Captain Kevin McAfee said.
KDKA’s Bob Allen reports that one firefighter had to be rescued when he got caught in a flashover and was forced out of a top-floor window.
“There was no other escape but the window, so he ended up, they call it a mayday, he ended up hanging out the window on the side of the building,” McAfee said.
Another firefighter hurt his knee while on the scene.
No other injuries were reported.
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