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California Borough fire forces evacuation of apartments

Friday, Nov. 16, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

Students at California University of Pennsylvania were temporarily forced from their off-campus apartments as firefighters battled a blaze at an adjacent building early Thursday.

The two-alarm fire began around 1:45 a.m. in a vacant house near the intersection of Second Avenue and Ash Street in the borough, fire Chief Tom Hartley said.

No one was injured.

Students who live in apartments were evacuated as a precaution, he said. Hartley said the building suffered significant damage on the side adjacent to the fire.

“The apartments were literally within a foot of the house,” Hartley said. “The siding is totally gone and there was concern of the fire spreading.”

Flames from the fire were so intense that a nearby home was damaged.

“The corner of the building behind it is scorched,” Hartley said. “It was 60 feet away from the actual fire.”

The fire is being investigated by the state police fire marshal and is considered suspicious, Hartley said.


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