2-alarm fire rips through Chester County apartment building, rendering dozens homeless

GLENMOORE, Pa. (WPVI) -- Fire ripped through a Chester County apartment building early Tuesday, leaving dozens displaced.

The fire broke out around 1:45 a.m. at the ReNew at Glenmoore Apartment Complex at 600 Ardsley Place in West Vincent Township.

Fire officials said when firefighters arrived, heavy flames were shooting through the roof of one of the buildings.

EMBED More News Videos

Drone 6 over the scene of an apartment complex fire in Glenmoore, Pennsylvania on June 4, 2019.

A two-alarm fire tore through the large, three-story, 40-unit building.

Three firefighters who live in the building received page alerts about the fire as the alarms were blaring. They rushed to let residents know it was the real deal.

Police officers were the first on the scene and didn't hesitate to run inside to help evacuate residents.

"He's like 'Chief, I could hear the fire. It was above me,' He said we had to get them out of there and we had to do it quickly," said West Vincent Township Police Chief Mike Swinginger. "They did a great job. They really saved lives tonight."

A second alarm was called and more than 100 firefighters battled the blaze before the fire was placed under control just before 3 a.m.
EMBED More News Videos

Fire burns through Chester Co. apartment complex: Jeannette Reyes reports on Action News at Noon, June 4, 2019

Fire officials said they had to deal with low water supply early on and breezeways throughout the building fueling the flames.

When it was over, all 40 units were either damaged or destroyed displacing approximately 75 people.

That includes Kathy McBeth who found herself scrambling to wake up her kids after smelling smoke.

Speaking about her son, McBeth says, "He thought he was getting up for school and he was kind of dilly-dallying and I said, 'Thomas, let's go!' And then we left and everybody was evacuating. It was absolutely horrifying."

The Red Cross is working to assist displaced residents. Approximately six to 10 families will be depending on the Red Cross for temporary housing. Others, we're told, are staying with family or friends.

Devon and Dominick Derosa were out with friends when they heard their apartment building was on fire.

Devon says it was, "The longest hour of my life" because her two dogs, Petrona and Diesel, we're inside.

Fortunately, firefighters were able to rescue the dogs.

Derosa tells us, "They went to the hospital. Everything is fine. They just smell like campfires. It's been a really long day."

"The stuff in there, it's all replaceable," Derosa added. "I don't really care. I have insurance."

EMBED More News Videos

2-alarm apartment fire renders many homeless in Chester Co.: Jeannette Reyes reports on Action News at 4 a.m., June 4, 2019

No injuries have been reported at this time.

There is no word yet as to what might have sparked the blaze.

The Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal and the Chester County Fire Marshal are investigating.

EMBED More News Videos

Dozens displaced following 2-alarm apartment fire: Jeannette Reyes reports on Action News at 6 a.m., June 4, 2019

Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.