High-rise blaze leaves residents from 10 apartments displaced
A fire at Marshall Manor Apartment building in Uniontown has displaced residents from 10 units, a Fayette County Housing Authority spokesman said Friday.
Phil Jones, administrator for senior high rises, said Friday that he believed one resident remained hospitalized after the fire at the East Main Street building Thursday night.
City fire Chief Chuck Coldren said that five people, including a firefighter and a police officer, were taken to Uniontown Hospital following the blaze that erupted at 7 p.m.
The firefighter remained hospitalized for smoke inhalation Friday morning, but his status was not available.
The cause of the fire “is probably going to be accidental,” Coldren said. “It is under investigation by the state police fire marshal.”
Police Chief Jason Cox said Officer John Kauer was treated for smoke inhalation Thursday night and discharged. “He is in fine condition,” Cox said.
Some of the residents with medical conditions had to be carried down the stairs, while others needed assistance, Cox said.
Kauer “was on a floor with extensive smoke and helping to evacuate,” Cox said.
Most of about 90 residents were able to return to their apartments hours after the fire was extinguished.
Those in the 10 apartments on the seventh floor, where the blaze started, were unable to immediately return, Coldren said.
“We are very pleased with the way the system worked. We were afraid at first that we would have to place a lot of people,” Jones said.
Everyone in the subsidized housing building is over age 50 and some suffer from various disabilities, Jones said.
One woman, who lived in a unit across the hall from where the fire began, had a niece and her male friend visiting at the time of the fire.
“She is an elderly, handicapped lady. I think the man was trying to help put out the fire. To my knowledge, she (resident) is still hospitalized,” he said.
Two residents were taken to a hotel, while the others are staying with relatives or friends, Jones said.
“We are looking at vacancies in some of our other buildings. That does not mean they would want to move there,” Jones said.
The seventh-floor apartment where the fire began in a bedroom “is pretty much wiped out,” he said.
Two apartments on other floors sustained damage, Jones said.
A restoration company is working to make the damaged apartments habitable, he said.
After the woman in the seventh-floor apartment realized the extent of the fire, she exited the building, leaving the apartment door open, Coldren said. “If the door had been closed, it could have kept the fire isolated to that apartment,” he said.
Instead, smoke billowed out into hallway, he said.
The fire department holds several training visits each year with the high-rise residents, Coldren said.
“We have fireproof doors. If they stay inside and put wet towels under the door, firefighters will come to everyone ... and check all rooms,” Jones said.
Signs throughout housing authority properties note that elevators are not to be used in case of fire, he said.
As soon as the main fire alarm goes off, the elevator goes to the first floor, the door opens and it becomes inoperable, Jones said.
After it was determined that it was safe to use the elevators, housing authority staff accompanied residents to their apartments to retrieve necessities Thursday.
On Friday, “we have been escorting them in to get anything they might need, such as clothing,” Jones said.
Residents are not permitted to have space heaters, and smoking is not permitted in common areas.
Smoking is allowed in individual apartments, Jones said.
“We are getting around to probably putting in place a ‘no smoking' policy. It's a great idea,” he said.
Coldren said residents' relatives rushed to the scene, and phones could be heard ringing in evacuated apartments.
“It got chaotic at one point,” he said.
Residents were taken to a first-floor community room, where a head count was taken.
“It went really well. My guys all did a terrific job, along with Hopwood and South Union firefighters. It went pretty smoothly,” Coldren said.
Uniontown Salvation Army volunteers provided refreshments to residents and firefighters at the scene.
American Red Cross spokeswoman Lauren Ashley said the agency assisted two residents with food, clothing and shelter.
Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Connellsville’s $3.1M tentative budget includes tax hike
- Preliminary parking plan submitted for new Connellsville hotel
- Thanksgiving to bring cool temps; snow a possibility
- Fire hits Dunbar Township trucking business
- Valve repair needed to control water levels at Greenlick dam
- Architect picked to examine Fayette County jail
- Brownsville Area Middle School administrator placed on leave in threat investigation
- Governor signs death warrant for convicted Fayette killer
- Canteen features Woodruff tribute
- Fayette County Crime Victims Center fundraising house tour returns after break
- Henry: Day of shopping planned at Connellsville library