By Jan Carabeo, Robin Culverwell
LANSDOWNE, Pa. (CBS) – Several dozen people have been displaced by a fire in a Lansdowne, Delaware County apartment complex Thursday night.READ MORE: Bus Driver, Aide Seriously Injured After Crash Involving Small School Bus In Winslow Township
This was a showy fire – flames shooting through open windows and smoke filling several apartments. About 80 people in total were forced from their homes.
Most residents are just happy to have escaped with their lives, like Campbell Anderson.
“I’m just very fortunate to be alive,” he says. “I’m just glad everyone else made it out of the building.”
Anderson got out by the fire escape and helped a neighbor along the way. He says he knew they didn’t have much time:READ MORE: Philadelphia Weather: Winter Storm Could Produce Enough Snow To Crack City’s Top 20 Snow Days
“It spread very quickly, I was on the second floor. I just had enough time to pick up my keys, my wallet and my cat and I saw the smoke rolling up the steps.”
The fire was reported around 7 p.m. at the Stratford Court Apartment complex on North Lansdowne Avenue near Stratford Avenue. The blaze went to two alarms.
Three people were taken to nearby hospitals with minor injuries, and four firefighters suffered minor injuries — one was taken to the hospital and the others were treated at the scene.
The Red Cross came in to help fire victims, setting up a shelter nearby. Red Paw volunteers also responded – helping find more than a dozen cats and birds whose owners live in the Stratford.
Fighting this fire was made worse the heat and humidity. Dozens of firefighters needed more than an hour to bring the flames under control.MORE NEWS: 17-Year-Old Student Christopher Braxton Shot, Killed Near Bartram High School In Southwest Philadelphia, Police Say
Neighbors say the fire started in the basement, but that remains under investigation along with the cause.