Residents Jump From Roof To Escape Rochester Apartment Fire

ROCHESTER, Pa. (KDKA) — Two people jumped from a roof to escape a fire at an apartment building in Rochester, Beaver County.

The fire started around 2 a.m. in the 5-unit apartment building located in the 200 block of West Madison Street. The first crews on the scene found fire showing in a window on the alley side of the building. The fire spread to the second floor.

“It moved rather quick,” said Rochester Fire Chief Ed Hermick. “It’s an older house. It took no time at all for it to get up into the second floor.”

Ten people escaped the early morning fire, but two had to jump to safety from a roof. Rochester Fire Chief Ed Hermick says police on the scene went into action.

“The police officers parked their car, which is an SUV, against a porch and those two people jumped from the porch onto the police car and were able to be rescued that way,” said Chief Hermick.

Debbie Garrett and her boyfriend, Jim Hubler, were the ones stuck on the roof.

“We tried one door, we couldn’t get out because the fire was there. We tried another door and he finally threw the air conditioner out of the window, we jumped off the roof,” Garrett said.

Garrett, who said she is afraid of heights, slipped and fell to the ground. She has been released from the hospital after receiving treatment for bruised ribs and a skinned knee.

The fire was brought under control about 45 minutes after the first crews arrived. Two firefighters were taken to a hospital. One was being treated for exhaustion. The second had a hand injury.

A fire marshal will investigate the cause. Chief Hermick said the fire appeared to start near the stairwell of the building.

The damage to the apartment building appears to be extensive.

Meanwhile, the Red Cross has found temporary housing for the victims.

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter

More from Brenda Waters

More From CBS Pittsburgh

Get The All New CBS Local App
KDKA Weather App
Find Cheaper Gas

Watch & Listen LIVE