SHAMOKIN, Pa. -- At least a dozen people need new places to stay after a big fire in Northumberland County.
The flames broke out in Shamokin late Tuesday night.
Fire officials said it started at an apartment building at the intersection East Lincoln and North Liberty streets just across from Shamokin's Rescue Hose Company and a fire museum.
"We started walking down. We all saw the smoke above the building, and when we got down here, it was still up in flames on top of the building," said Christina Roden of Shamokin.
The fire chief said about a dozen people made it out safely.
The fire spread to an arts center next door, leaving smoke and water damage and damage to the outside of another adjacent building, too.
Fire crews said it could be a lot worse had they not been just across the street.
"Pretty quickly we got some water in place and started getting the fire knocked down, and eventually the fire already moved to the roof and the exposure next door, so we had two different buildings going at the same time," said Shamokin Assistant Fire Chief Stephen Jeffery.
Several fire companies showed up to fight the blaze, not just the crew from across the street.
"It's good the fire stations were here and then there's another one just over the top of the hill. My father used to say every other corner there's a barroom or a firehouse," said Jack Leiby of Shamokin.
The Red Cross is helping the people who were forced out by the flames.
The fire chief said he could not find any working smoke alarms in the apartment building.