Raw Video: Heavy Fire in an Apartment Building in Berks County, PA

Raw video from what appears to be a neighbor of a large apartment fire in Berks County, PA.  The video was posted by Aetherbund and description is below.  Below the description is a short clip from the local news on this fire.

“At 12:58am, 12 Community Drive’s apartment went up in flames. According to my roommate, and from what I saw before recording- the fire began on the 2nd or 3rd floor. It crept along the roof and began burning, slowly making its way down the back facade of the building and into the stairwell to the 2nd floor, which sustained heavy water damage. Floor 3 and the stairwell connecting 2F and 3F was incinerated and hit the worst, along with most units on 3F.

10 engines responded, from as far away as Mount Penn. When the 911 call was issued somewhere between 12:50am to 1:00am, police arrived on the scene to meet volunteer fire/police to evacuate the building. All residents and furry friends are accounted for an unharmed. The building burned during the duration of this video and for about 15-20 minutes longer. The majority of the fire on the back facade was under control within a couple of minutes.

The fire marshal confirmed that the fire started on the 3rd floor on the EXTERIOR of the building. He also said that the chance of total loss of the building was high. Landlords were not notified until I said something to a friend. Firefighters can be seen exiting the building, through flames, but many entered the building after the main blaze was contained. They then knocked out windows and brought out chainsaws, presumably to cut tree limbs and cut ventilation holes in the roof.

The Red Cross is assisting the families at this time, but was closed for donations this afternoon. No one was at the office in Reading.”

WFMZ – “Eleven families have been displaced by a multi-alarm fire that ripped through an apartment complex in Berks County early Wednesday morning. The flames broke out shortly before 1 a.m. at the Shillington Commons Apartments at 12 Community Drive, not far from Route 724, in Cumru Township. Officers with the Cumru Township Police Department were the first on scene, trying to get residents out of the building. A firefighter who lived nearby also helped.

“He was in there banging on all the doors, yelling for everybody to get out,” said Stephanie Ruth. “You couldn’t really see anything,” said English Bradley. “Everything was black. It was hazy. That’s really the only thing I remember. ‘You’ve got to go,’ and a man throws my child at me. I’m like, ‘Where did you come from?'” Firefighters worked about an hour to get control of the fire.”…Continue Reading Here

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