2-alarm fire at apartment building in Lehigh Valley

Officials say a 2-alarm fire at an apartment building in Whitehall Township forced dozens of people from their homes.
October 26, 2013 4:22:53 PM PDT
Officials say a 2-alarm fire at an apartment building in Whitehall Township forced dozens of people from their homes.

The blaze broke out just before 11:30 p.m. on the 900 block of Mickley Road.

Moments after part of Helfrich Springs Apartments went up in flames, a resident captured cell phone video showing the chaos as tenants ran to safety.

"It looked like a volcano about to erupt," said Ibrahaim Mahmoud.

Ten year old Ibrahaim watched as the fire grew into a blazing ball of flames tearing through the roof.

"Things spewing out of it almost damaged our cars," he said.

Ibrahaim stood far away to avoid getting hurt. He joined the dozens of others from the 23 affected apartments, who were all thankful that they got out safely.

"I ran really fast, was barely able to get my shoes on," said Ibrahaim.

"It was like you can see all the flames, it was horrible, horrible," said Elizabeth Ceras.

The fire began in the back of building V and jumped next door to building T. Three buildings in total were evacuated with about 30 tenants in each.

No injuries were reported. Police bused dozens of residents to Whitehall High School for the night.

The fire chief says the extent of the damage on each apartment varies.

Not everyone has insurance but regardless the apartment complex is looking for vacant apartments they can use as temporary housing.

Later Saturday, police escorted residents one-by-one into their homes to gather what belongings, if any, they could.

So far, no word on the cause. Fire officials will continue their investigation on Sunday.


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