NORTH COVENTRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — More than 100 people lost everything as a massive, three-alarm fire tore through a North Coventry Township apartment building. The fire was reported at the Ashwood Apartments on Worth Boulevard around 7:20 p.m. Thursday night.
Flames engulfed the entire building as the three floors collapsed in on themselves.
Eyewitness News cameras captured several people on stretchers but officials say all residents were evacuated. Officials say four people and three firefighters were transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
“I smelled the smoke, I thought it was just an alarm going off. And then I left, I went down to my sister’s apartment, who lives on the first floor, I came up and the whole third floor was engulfed in smoke in minutes. It was that quick,” resident Mark Shaffer said. “I didn’t even have time to take anything either. That was the least of my worries, it was just getting everybody else out.”
“It feels like a movie, a very bad movie,” resident Jeffrey Burnett said. “I have zero things now. I literally have my phone, my camera and that’s it. My dad has nothing now. He needs his medicine, which is in there.”
Residents of the building say there are no fire hydrants in the area so firefighters have been pumping water from a nearby pond.
Ashwood Apartment building appears to be total loss. County Comish says 100 ppl 40+ units destroyed. Water issues. FF using nearby pond to bring water to scene. pic.twitter.com/UFXEFtIGWk
— Greg Argos (@GregArgosCBS3) July 31, 2020
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
The Red Cross says they’re helping at least 15 families and a staging area has been set up at the Norco fire department. Officials say more than 100 people lived in the building.
Displaced residents can go to the North Coventry Fire Hall to pick up water, food and clothing. There has been overwhelming support from the community. Donations are welcomed, click here for more info.
CBS3’s Greg Argos and Dan Koob contributed to this report.