• Tenants jump as fire burns at boarding house; several people hospitalized

    Updated:

    CORAOPOLIS, Pa. - A fire at a boarding house in Coraopolis forced some tenants to jump to safety.

    The fire was first reported shortly after 2:30 a.m. at the Fourth Avenue building. Flames rekindled later in the morning.

    Coraopolis Fire Chief Larry Byrge said the building has a shared kitchen and bathrooms. It’s believed that the fire started in the kitchen.

    Byrge also said the building was old and had layers of remodeling.


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    "Once the fire got up into the walls, the fire spread very rapidly," he said.

    When neighbor Brandon Finch realized there was a fire, he ran through the building to alert everyone.

    “There were flames coming out of the kitchen, then I knew it was serious … got everyone up and aware there was a fire in the building,” Finch said.

    Byrge said some tenants jumped from the building, which has only one exit.

    Dan Kratsas was one of the people who jumped to escape the smoke and flames.

    “I couldn't breathe. My chest hurt, felt like someone hit me in the chest,” Kratsas said.

    Two tenants were taken to a hospital, as was a Coraopolis police officer who suffered smoke inhalation while trying to get tenants out, Finch said. A Moon Township firefighter also went to a hospital for heat exhaustion.

    A fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.


     

     

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