MCCANDLESS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – A three-alarm fire engulfed an apartment building in McCandless, and one man had to be rescued from the flames.
According to officials at the scene, the fire started at the Hickory Hills apartments on Haddon Place Monday afternoon.
“I saw all of this smoke billowing from the top of this building here. So, I ran downstairs and watched as smoke poured from the building, and flames engulfed the bottom balcony,” witness Davina Groover said.
Witnesses also said a man had to be pulled from the first floor apartment.
Mike Ross, who along with several other neighbors, pulled the victim from his burning apartment, said the man initially didn’t want to leave his apartment.
“The apartment was engulfed in flames, where the kitchen was at, they were trying to get Jim out, two other gentlemen trying to get him out. He was holding onto the post and didn’t want to get out for some reason, I don’t know why. I grabbed him around his torso and pulled him out,” said Ross.
The victim was taken to UPMC Passavant for treatment.
Gary Morgan, who lives at the complex, says people have complained to management and police before about the man who was rescued.
“As far as i can tell, the bottom right neighbor, who we’ve complained about several times, lit his kitchen on fire and then this gentleman here came out screaming,” Morgan said.
Police said they couldn’t immediately confirm Morgan’s story.
Ingomar Deputy Fire Chief Bill Sula says while fire damage was confined to the one unit, about 15 other apartments in the building sustained smoke damage.
Tenants of those units are staying at a local hotel, or with friends or relatives, at least for the time being.
McCandless Police, the local fire marshal, and the Allegheny County Fire Marshal are investigating the cause of the fire.