Fire In Four Apartments Displaces 10 People

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POTTSVILLE --- Ten people are now out of their homes including children after a fire ripped through four apartments, just a week before Thanksgiving.

Dozens of fire crews from both the city and surrounding communities fought the blaze for hours.

Heavy black smoke billowed from a four unit building on the 200 block of Schuylkill Avenue.

The Pottsville assistant fire chief tells us the fire broke out around 4 Friday afternoon and quickly consumed units 213, 215, 217 and 219.

Robert Weiss lives in apartment 217 with his girlfriend.

“She said she heard crackling in the back room, when I went up and opened the door the wall was on fire and there was bags of clothes, we didn’t use the room, it was like storage and I seen them starting to catch, so she brought me a fire extinguisher right away I tried to put them out and it didn’t do nothing they went right up,” said Weiss.
Robert Kalbach lives in 211 and while he’s fortunate the fire didn’t spread to his house, his heart goes out to his neighbors.

“My neighbors are great people, I’ve lived up here all my life and it’s a shame, I’m still trembling,” said Kalbach.

Fire officials say 10 people are now displaced, including children and pretty much everything inside the homes is gone.

Red Cross was on the scene to provide help to the victims.

“Obviously by the look of the fire they’re going to need clothing, food and places to stay so that’s our first primary goal to make sure the families are put somewhere, they have a place to go tonight,” said Schuylkill County Red Cross Volunteer  Timothy Firestone.

This fire comes just a week before Thanksgiving and now those 10 people will be spending their holiday starting from scratch.

“I don’t know, I really don’t think it has set in yet so I pretty much got this now,” said Weiss, referencing the clothes he was wearing.

The assistant fire chief says three of those fire victims went to the hospital for minor smoke inhalation.

The fire is under investigation.