LANSDOWNE, Pa. (CBS) — The Way-Lin Manor Apartments in Upper Darby are temporarily vacant after part of the building was gutted by a fire that started just before 11:30 a.m. Sunday.
“When I arrived on location I had heavy fire conditions on the first floor coming out of an apartment, on the B side of the building, multiple people trapped on the fire floor and above the fire floor,” said Upper Darby Fire Department Deputy Chief James Johnson.
One Upper Darby police officer was taken to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation after he helped firefighters get to those people trapped in the burning building.
“We was running down the steps, and the smoke was so thick,” said Kieyania Davis.
Davis was one of about 40 people stuck in a stairwell during the fire.
She was trapped there with her 4-year-old son until emergency responders guided them both through the smoke.
“It’s frightening because I thought this was fake because we’re always getting fake alarms. In reality, I can’t ignore the fire alarms no more. It’s scary,” added Davis.
Firefighters said at least 30 apartments were damaged, some people lost everything in their home.
Still, many are grateful to emergency responders for ensuring this fire didn’t end tragically.
“They did a wonderful job, getting everybody out. If it wasn’t for them, if they didn’t keep constantly banging on my door. I would’ve probably still been in there dead right now,” said resident Patricia Glencamp.
Within 10 minutes, emergency responders managed to get everyone out of the building safely.
“We really appreciate Upper Darby and Drexel Hill fire departments,” added Glencamp.
At least 50 residents are now displaced, but getting help from the Red Cross as firefighters work to determine the cause of the fire.