3-alarm Darby Township fire displaces apartment complex residents

DARBY TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A multi-alarm fire erupted Thursday morning at a Delaware County apartment complex.

The flames broke out just after 9:30 a.m. in the 1300 block of Clifton Avenue in Darby Township.

"When I seen the flames I said, 'where's all this smoke coming from?' You could smell it, it was just so strong," said resident Willie May Roberts.

Firefighters struck a third alarm just after 10 a.m. when the flames tore through the roof.

Fifteen fire companies helped extinguish the fire. Timothy Boyce, Director of Delaware County Emergency Services, said volunteer fire crews are short staffed.

"The reality is we're calling from Drexel Hill, we're calling from Swarthmore, we're calling from Tinicum, we're calling from almost half of Delaware County just to battle a fire," said Boyce. "And it just reflects how limited we are on people that are willing to volunteer and serve."

Twelve apartment units suffered damaged, but no injuries were reported. The fire caused holes to the roof and the building has been condemned.

The Red Cross is working with displaced residents and the local housing authority to try to find temporary housing.

This was the second major fire that crews dealt with in the area in the same morning. The first occurred around 5 a.m. in Darby Borough.
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