Friday, May 5, 2017

Fire tore through a three-story apartment building in Philadelphia's Olney section

By Christie Ileto
Thursday, May 04, 2017 11:41PM
OLNEY (WPVI) -- Twenty two residents have been displaced after fire tore through a three-story apartment building in Philadelphia's Olney section.

The fire started around 3:45 p.m. Thursday at the Hillside Gardens Apartments on the 6000 block of Cresentville Road.

Fire crews say this was a wind driven blaze that started in a unit on the top floor and quickly spread through the third floor, reducing the possessions of many residents to ashes.

One resident, Deorah Fuller, said returning home from work, she feared she'd lost everything in the blaze, including her pet. However, firefighters found her cat hiding under her bed in the now charred apartment unit.

"And when I got here, this is what I found. Sixteen years of being here. Everything is gone," Fuller said.

"It's just something that happened. It started in the apartment across from me, which happens to be my niece's apartment, and it shot through the roof and hit mine," she said.

A viewer captured the raging inferno from the parking lot.

Residents and maintenance workers raced to evacuate the building.

Fire crews say no one was in the unit where the fire started.

"That's the last call you expect to get - your house is on fire. All your possessions. I do have (my) life though," said resident Shelby Burns.

Many residents, including Fuller and her cat, are thankful for just that - their lives.

The management company says about two dozen people are displaced as of Thursday evening, and have worked to find other accommodations for them.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.