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Nearly 70 evacuated from senior high-rise in New Kensington after kitchen fire breaks out

NEW KENSINGTON — Three people were taken to the hospital after residents of a New Kensington apartment complex were evacuated for a fire Wednesday afternoon.

First responders were called to Parnassus Manor in New Kensington at 3:20 p.m. for a reported fire and smoke condition. Fire officials reported that they found a kitchen fully burning in an apartment on the second floor and the hallway was full of smoke.

“I just ran down the steps very fast and then I pulled the fire alarm,” Amber Harris said.

Harris said that was the only way she could let all of the tenants inside the building know about the fire. She said she was visiting her mother on the seventh floor and when they went downstairs, something was off.

“I looked down the hallway and there was smoke. And my mom opened up the door and there was nothing but smoke,” she said.

All the residents, nearly 70 people, were safely evacuated. Three people were taken to the hospital, one with a serious injury and two for smoke inhalation, officials said.

19 people had to find other places to sleep Wednesday night.

“What we’re going to do is provide some assistance in the means of a prepaid card and they’ll be able to go to a local hotel and that card will help provide for food, water and clothing,” said Chris McCormick with the American Red Cross.

The organization was on scene helping people make arrangements for the night.

Parnassus Manor is an apartment building operated by the Westmoreland County Housing Authority.

All five companies in the city responded, along with volunteers from nearby. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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