Hilary Maiolino tells Action News she is thankful that she and her PTSD service dog Layla were able to make it out safely.
Maiolino, who is now at the Township Building where the Red Cross has set up a shelter for those in need, says she first smelled wood burning.
"I stuck my head out the front door, and I see flames coming out of my bedroom window. I grabbed some clothes out of my hamper, I grabbed her," Maiolino said.
Eighteen homes at the Hilltop Condominiums complex, all decorated for the holidays, were damaged in the fire that began shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The flames raced upward, engulfing much of the roof of the C building. Remarkably, there were no life-threatening injuries.
Police officers and neighbors, like Mike Dougherty, went door to door to warn the residents of the fire.
The fire marshal and a county engineer were among those searching through the remains of building C Wednesday morning.
A few blocks away at that township building, people dropped off supplies for those who have lost much.
Those supplies have been carefully organized, item by item, as part of a Brookhaven emergency plan that is in place for these types of tragic situations.
"These are all donations by borough residents, people that don't even live in our borough, are coming to drop everything off, food, money, clothing, hygiene supplies, baby supplies," Denise Leslie of the Brookhaven Borough Council said.
Many residents of the owner-occupied units had insurance. But some were subletting and did not have insurance. The complex board is in the process of setting up a small shelter on the property so residents can stay there up to 21 days.
A cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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