CORAOPOLIS, Pa. (KDKA) – Multiple injuries were reported after a fire early Thursday morning in Coraopolis.
Crews were called to the scene in the 1400 block of 4th Avenue around 2:30 a.m. A building that houses multiple residences was burning.
More than a dozen people lost everything in the fire. Flames quickly spread through several apartments and a communal kitchen.
“I woke up to the smell of smoke and I opened up the door and the hallway was filled with smoke so I knew there was a problem,” said Brandon Finch, resident.
The flames began in the rear of the building and quickly spread into the building’s only stairwell and exit door.
“I crawled down the hallway and there was screams for help coming from the kitchen. The kitchen was completely engulfed. I started banging on everybody’s door the whole way around the building,” said Finch.
The fire chief said the building’s shoddy construction and one exit made fighting the fire difficult.
“It’s been remodeled multiple times, false ceilings, walls, the roof was a flat roof and they put a peak roof over the flat roof,” Coraopolis Fire Chief Larry Byrge said.
The fast-acting fire forced several residents to jump to safety out of the second story windows.
“Most of the people on the top all jumped out the window. I ended up catching it early so I made it down the stairs,” said Finch.
Chief Byrge said a few people who jumped to safety were taken to the hospital for injuries including sprained ankles, cuts and bruises. A firefighter was also taken to the hospital after suffering from heat exhaustion on scene. Plus, a responding police officer from the Moon Township Police Department was also treated for smoke inhalation.
Chief Byrge said the building is a complete loss and the fire marshal will now investigate the cause of the fire