Fast-moving fire forces 14 from their Delaware County home

UPLAND, Pa. - November 19, 2013

911 calls came from the twin home on the 800 block of Upland Avenue just after 4:15 this morning, where 14 people from two families live - 8 people on one side, 6 on the other.

Firefighters arrived to heavy flames showing on the second and third floors of the 3-story structure, located across the street from the Upland Shopping Center.

It took them about an hour to get the upper hand.

"It started in our neighbor's front bedroom. I tried to go in with fire extinguisher. When I hit the hallway, smoke just hit me in the face," said Crystal Evans.

Crystal had grabbed the fire extinguisher from her own kitchen before running to her neighbor's home and up the stairs. Her father, who has lived there for 37 years, explains how she saw a blanket on fire.

"There was a blanket on the floor on fire, smoking like crazy. My daughter had to come out because she couldn't breathe," explained Joseph Evans.

Investigators blame an electrical space heater for the blaze, which started in 822 Upland, then spread next door. Both homes were heavily damaged.

The Red Cross was on scene assisting the families and organizing motels for the families to stay in. The Red Paw Relief Team was there as well with the Delaware County SPCA assisting, since the family had 21 cats - 18 of them fosters that are now displaced as well.

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