Investigators Probe Ashland Fire

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ASHLAND -- Investigators were back on the scene of a fire that displaced eight people early Monday morning in Schuylkill County.

Fire investigators and police still have a lot of unanswered questions about the fire in Ashland.

Crews were back on the scene just hours after the fire in Schuylkill County left eight people homeless.

It started after 3 a.m. Monday in the 700 block of Center Street in Ashland.

Ronald Bowen says he hurried to get his family to safety, frightened about what was going to happen next.

"I got my daughter out, and my fiancée and they went up to my sister-in law's," said Ronald Bowen.

Police actually spotted the blaze in Ashland and called the fire department,   all because they were called to a nearby restaurant for a report of people on the roof.  They didn't find anyone, but say they spotted two individuals running through this alley near where the fire started.

Neighbors say the police then worked quickly to help get people out.

"The cop had went back and tried to kick the door in, and when he did, one of the occupants ran out and lost his shoe on the way out, and ran past the cops. They weren't able to get him," said Erica Blasé.

Police were able to talk to one person who was inside when the fire started    but the tenant of the now-charred apartment hasn't been found

Some neighbors say people staying inside the apartment were nothing but trouble.

"Nothing but parties, from sun up to sun down. I mean, most nights they got quiet but last night just seemed weird."

Police say they're still looking for the two individuals who took off from Center Street and say they have a lot of questions for them regarding this fire.

Investigators say right now the cause of the blaze is undetermined but that could change.

"We need a few more things that need to be answered before we can come to a conclusion," said Ashland Fire Chief Phillip Groody.

Neighbors say not knowing exactly why the blaze started nearby is keeping them on alert.

"I have to keep my eyes open a little bit more and tell my family to keep their eyes open a little bit more," said Richard Morton.

Neighbors are thankful that no one was hurt.