TAMAQUA, Pa. — Residents saw flames falling from above when a fire hit a high-rise apartment building in Tamaqua Friday morning.
More than 100 people live in the ABC Tamaqua Hi-Rise and the building was completely evacuated. First responders rescued some of the residents.
One person died as a result of the fire. The victim's name has not been released.
"I heard the fire truck and it didn't go far and I thought, 'Uh oh. what's going on?' Then I heard the other one. Then I looked out my window and saw the other one backing up. I thought, 'Oh no.' Then the beepers started going off. then my apartment started filling up with smoke," recalled resident Tammy Shock.
Just after 6 a.m. Friday, flames broke out in a room on the building's top floor. One person, who lived in that unit died.
Another person was taken to a hospital and several people had to be rescued.
"I got up right away and there was a big ruckus outside, so everybody knew what was going on. That's when I first smelled it. Then I walked to my kitchen window, and I saw balls of fire falling down," said resident Donald Miller.
It was a scary few minutes for Kathleen Turner, who had her granddaughter staying with her overnight. Her main priority was trying to keep her safe and relaxed.
"She started crying and I said to her, 'This isn't time to panic. We have to be calm. Get your shoes and socks on, then we're going to go.' Then the elevator came and she said, 'I don't think that's a good idea, gramma.' And I said, 'no, it's not,'" said Turner. "I'm here now, but it was terrible, terrible. I just couldn't imagine all of the smoke."
No cause has been determined.
Fans were brought in to circulate the air and people were allowed back in their rooms Friday afternoon.