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Fire leads to evacuation of apartment building in Wilkinsburg

WILKINSBURG, Pa. — A fire Thursday morning forced the evacuation of a nine-story apartment building in Wilkinsburg.

Officials said the fire started about 5:30 a.m. in an apartment on the seventh floor of Wood Towers, which is an "apartment community for those 62 and better, handicapped, or disabled," according to its website.

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About 100 people were evacuated from the building on Wood Street.

One woman said she was caring for her mother when alarms sounded. She said it was challenging getting people who were in wheelchairs out of the building.

“I opened the door and people were hurrying up, scurrying to get to the exit door,” June Coleman said. “When we get out the exit door, this lady in a wheelchair, she can’t get down the steps.”


Firefighters helped that woman and others get out safely.

Port Authority of Allegheny County buses were brought in to provide shelter for everyone who was evacuated.

One person suffered minor burns and smoke inhalation and was taken to a hospital, officials said. Another person was taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Investigators are working to determine what caused the fire, which was contained to the one apartment.

Residents were allowed to return to their apartments shortly before 8 a.m. Officials said the person who lives in the apartment where the fire started will be relocated within the building until repairs are made.