NORTH HUNTINGDON, Pa. -
A fire at a former strip club forced Route 30 to shut down in both directions for several hours Wednesday in North Huntingdon Township, Westmoreland County.
The fire started at Gloria's Cantina, a former strip club, and spread to a day care next door.
Witnesses told Channel 11 News that flames consumed Gloria’s, which was slated to be demolished Wednesday, within five minutes. The wind quickly carried the flames over to the next-door day care, Wiggles and Giggle Academy.
"At first we noticed it kind of looked like dust. We were like, ‘Wow, that's a lot of dust,’ and noticed it was on fire. I yelled to all the teachers, ‘Grab someone,’ and we all got of the building,” day care owner Tiffany Rudy said.
Authorities said the children, ages 6 weeks to 6 years old, were all safely evacuated.
"We just grabbed as many hands as we could and said, ‘Come on, guys. Let’s go,’ as they were crying. We just did what we had to do,” Rudy said.
On the other side of Gloria's is the Hartfield Heights Volunteer Fire Station, which was not staffed at the time.
The fire chief told Channel 11 News that the department had just bought the Gloria's property, which was shut down following a state police raid in 2012, and planned to build a new fire station.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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