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BUCKS COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) – A 200-year-old inn went up in flames overnight in Bucks County, forcing more than a dozen residents to evacuate the building.
The fire broke out around midnight at the Richlandtown Inn at South Main and East Union Streets. The first floor of the historic inn is a bar-restaurant and the second floor has 16 apartments.
Many of those residents were awoken early Tuesday morning to find flames shooting from the inn.
“I looked out the window and the fire escape was ablaze, and the fire was right out of my window,” said resident Lisa Flippi. “I’m glad it didn’t spread anymore.”
Firefighters helped rescue Lisa and several other people who live on the second floor, while flames were still raging on the first floor. Firefighters were able to quickly knock out the flames, but they say it wasn’t easy getting through the 200-year-old building.
“It’s just the way it was constructed and tight quarters. The way things were built, it did present a challenge,” said Richlandtown Borough Fire Assistant Fire Chief Justin Sutton.
The Richlandtown Inn was built in 1812. At the time it was a general store, tavern and rooming house for people traveling from Philadelphia to Bethlehem. Today, it’s an apartment and restaurant, and some things inside like the mahogany oak bar are the original pieces. The co-owner says he’s not sure how much of the history he’ll be able to salvage.
“There’s a lot of personal history here, you know, you’re in a place for 18 years and you work in it every day,” said Richlandtown Inn co-owner Venanzio Poccia. “It’s a tough thing.”
Everyone inside made it out safely, but two firefighters suffered minor injuries.
The Red Cross is helping 16 displaced residents.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.