13 people escape after large fire rips through Allegheny Co. apartments with businesses below

MCKEES ROCKS, Pa. — Several people and animals escaped after crews battled a large fire at a row of apartments and businesses in McKees Rocks.

Emergency responders said the fire started around 2:15 p.m. Thursday on George Street.

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The fire appeared to start inside a row of apartments that lie above businesses that cover the first floor.

Chopper 11 flew over the scene and saw heavy smoke pouring out of the building. The smoke reached the McKees Rocks Bridge, causing potential visibility issues for drivers.

The fire left a gaping hole in the roof where two glass atriums collapsed.

According to the fire chief, eight adults, five kids and a couple of dogs escaped safely. One cat did not make it out.

One of the dogs, named Royal, helped his family get out.

Firefighters said multiple apartments suffered significant damage from the fire, and two firefighters were injured battling the flames.

They are expected to be OK.

The cause of what started the fire is under investigation.