Deadly fire in Cheltenham shopping center

January 25, 2013 3:28:21 PM PST
Officials say one person is dead and two firefighters injured after a fire tore through a Cheltenham shopping center Thursday.

The fire broke out just after 11:00 p.m. at the Melrose Shopping Center, in the unit block of Cheltenham Avenue.

Crews arrived to find heavy flames and smoke showing from a number of businesses.

Two stores were gutted by the fire and two others sustained water and smoke damage.

Investigators believe the blaze started in a beauty supply store and the chemicals inside that store fueled the flames.

Police rescued one person from the beauty supply store. That person later died at the hospital. It's not clear whether or not that person worked at the store.

The ice and cold caused lines and the ground to freeze. The township came to spread salt and a SEPTA bus was called in to give firefighters a place to get warm as they rotated on and off the fire.

One firefighter suffered lacerations and was treated at the hospital and released. Another firefighter sustained a shoulder injury. He was taken to Jeanes Hospital in stable condition.

The fire marshal is still investigating the cause of the fire. There is no word yet on the identity of the person who died.


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