People living in Arnold retirement building displaced after flames roar from windows

ARNOLD, Pa. — Firefighters and police were able to safely evacuate or rescue dozens of people and their pets from a three alarm fire at a senior high-rise in Westmoreland County.

Flames were rolling out of the windows at Arnold Manor retirement home on Horne Boulevard in Arnold. Thick smoke could be seen in the air miles away.

PHOTOS: Crews battle fire at local senior high-rise

Marie Myers was trapped one floor below the fire. She’s an amputee and is wheelchair bound. She literally crawled down the stairs until a police officer ran in and helped her out.

“My whole house is filling up with smoke and I’m banging on the window and the firemen are just standing there,” Myers said. “Nobody was coming up.”

Brandy Myers said she raced over to check on her mom.

“I tried to run into the building,” Myers said. “The firemen were

standing around. They stopped me, threatened to put me in jail if I wouldn’t listen to them.”

Crystal Mar, who lives in the building also tell Channel 11 she was threatened with being arrested if she went inside. Mar said people were banging on the windows for help and nobody was going in. She helped two people get out.

“The officer was saying if you go in the building, I’m going to arrest you,” Mar said. “I heard a voice screaming and I went right back in.”

Captain William Hartmam with Arnold Volunteer Fire Dept. 95-1 said the fire and smoke were so heavy, crews couldn’t go in.

Captain William Hartmam with Arnold Volunteer Fire Dept. 95-1 said the fire and smoke were so heavy, crews couldn’t go in.

“We did everything we could,” Capt. Hartman said. “We got to the fire and residents as soon as we could.”

Captain Hartman said the call came as an automatic fire alarm and many volunteers are at work in the middle of the day so it was difficult to get a large number of firefighters to the scene. Departments in Allegheny County also came to help.

The folks who were evacuated are being helped by the Red Cross. They were moved across the street to the local bingo hall as a warm place to stay.

Nobody was hurt and all pets made it out safely.

Officials said they believe the cause of the fire was electrical and that it was an accident.