Residents of an apartment building in Jersey Shore escaped flames and smoke Tuesday evening.
Investigators believe careless smoking led to the fire.
A group of people stood outside their apartment building in Jersey Shore along Allegheny Street one day after fire forced them out.
Fire officials said everyone made it out okay and the flames damaged just one second-floor apartment. The rest have smoke and water damage.
Terry Rose was not home when the fire got its start around 7 p.m. Tuesday.
“Worried about everyone in the building, not worried about her and her daughter. I knew they were in State College,” Rose said Danielle Pratt and her young daughter. They too were not around when fire hit the building where they lived.
“I got a lot of phone calls and texts. Glad I wasn’t home with her. When I found out everyone was okay I was relieved,” Pratt said.
Tuesday night’s fire leaves about a half-dozen people without a place to go. The fire marshal is trying to find out what started the fire and inspect the place to see if it is safe for some of the tenants to move back in once the water and smoke damage is taken care of.
“If it’s repairable, that’s what we’ll do. The owner said if it’s not a loss we’ll remodel it then as soon as I remodel it I’ll move back in,” Rose said.
A state police fire marshal said the fire was an accident caused by smoking materials that were thrown away in a wastebasket.
Because of that, residents like Danielle Pratt can’t stay there, at least not anytime soon.
“More or less staying with family and friends, having other family members help buy things because no fire insurance,” Pratt added.