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.
Just talked to the Coraopolis Fire Chief who told me a police officer suffered smoke inhalation as he tried to get people out of this boarding house that was on fire. Some tenants had to jump from the 2nd floor to safety. Firefighter and 2 residents, also taken to the hospital. pic.twitter.com/lhuUY6EdW2— Lori Houy (@WPXI_Lori) February 15, 2018
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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