NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Twenty-four people are without homes Saturday night after a 3-alarm fire fully engulfed an apartment building at the Montgomery Mills Apartment Complex in Norristown.
“Just moved in three weeks ago, just furnished the place, it’s devastating,” said Tom Percetti. He is one of 24 displaced tenants at Montgomery Mills Apartments. He returned home to find his apartment on fire, his belongings destroyed.
“The fire as you can see in the background, happened right above my unit. I’m crossing my fingers, hopefully it’s just water damage, but it’s not looking to good,” said Percetti.
Building 7500 was completely engulfed with flames when fire crews arrived to Regatta Circle just before 2:30 p.m.
With more than 100 firefighters on the scene chief Tom O’Donnell says they were able to put the fire under control in about an hour.
Flames ripped apart 20 units in the three story building. Fire officials say 10 of those units were completely destroyed.
Residents like Joe Kekoanui’s girlfriend had to escape.
“She gave me a phone call saying there was black smoke coming out of the vents, and I told her she should probably get out of there,” said Kekoanui. “She knocked on a couple of neighbors doors, said listen I think there’s a fire, they all kind of ran out.”
No tenants suffered any injuries, but two firefighters were taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
“Two firefighters have been taken to the hospital for minor evaluations, one was dehydrated and one had an elevated blood pressure,” said Chief O’Donnell.
Multiple pets were also rescued, as for the tenants their thankful and focusing on piecing their lives back together.
“It’s devastating, it’s heartbreaking, but at the same time the biggest thing is that she got out, and everyone else got out,” said Kekoanui.
Both the State Police and the Fire Marshall are investigating the cause of the fire.