PENN HILLS, Pa. (KDKA) – Flames forced several families out of their apartments in Penn Hills overnight. They won’t be allowed back into the building any time soon because of heavy heat and smoke damage inside.
Angela Prude recounted what she experienced around 1:30 Thursday morning.
“It was a lot of smoke. I mean, it was a lot of smoke,” said Prude. “I was so asleep and then I just heard a bunch of commotion and somebody was banging on my door, and when I came to it I heard someone saying ‘everybody out.’”
Prude and her 18-year-old daughter got out safely.
Six units were affected by the fire that broke out along Penn Pleasant Drive.
“Tremendous amount of smoke damage. A lot of electrical damage and a kitchen that was on fire in one apartment,” said North Bessemer VFD Fire Chief in Penn Hills John Capone.
Chief Capone said a total of six units were affected. Five families live in these units, which make up around 12 people. There were also four or five cats and one dog displaced. Capone said the fire started in a first floor apartment kitchen.
“Everyone got out safely. One guy had a mild case of smoke and he was taken care of by EMS,” said Chief Capone.
“It’s devastating. It’s depressing. I’ve only been there a month in total and now I have to start over again,” said another resident.
Some lost a good portion of their belongings so the Red Cross is helping out and also providing shelter for the interim. While the six units in the building were affected most, other residents still have to find a place to stay until electricity and water are turned back on.
“I don’t know what I’m gonna do. Gonna try to get a room for one or two nights, but I can’t afford staying at a hotel much longer than that,” said Prude.
The Fire Marshal has been called in to determine the cause of the fire.