PARKESBURG, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Flames destroyed a row of duplexes in Chester County on Sunday morning just as residents were starting to celebrate Easter.
The fire started at approximately 3 a.m. in Parkesburg on the 100 block of Washington Street.
Fire officials say it began in the back of one of the duplexes and spread to two neighboring units.
In total, six homes were engulfed by the blaze.
Spencer Nichols from Parkesburg was one of the first on the scene to call 911.
He says he was prepping for Easter dinner when he first saw the flames bursting from the duplexes.
"Just sad, it's a sad time right now," he said. "We were preparing for Easter dinner, my wife usually puts the meat in at night and I watch it. Well, I looked at the window and it looked like the sky was on fire."
Officials say approximately 80 firefighters were needed to get the flames under control.
"Due to the high volume of fire that was present, the two additional exposure duplexes caught fire. That leaves us with the loss behind us, an unfortunate one on a holiday, of six homes," said Chief Bryan Gathercikd with the Key Stone Valley Fire Department in Chester County.
One firefighter suffered injuries when he was briefly trapped inside the home. No other injuries were reported.
The Red Cross is helping 22 displaced residents at the Parkesburg Borough Hall.
Charlis Cooper is one of the many residents now displaced due to the fire. She told Action News the home she grew up in, the one where she now raises her 6-year-old son, is unrecognizable.
"You could tell something was wrong. I heard screams and commotion, and I had looked out my son's window and seen the neighbor's porch on fire," Cooper recalled.
They escaped with nothing but the clothes on their backs and three pictures from inside the home.
Officials say donations are being collected for those displaced, and gift cards could go a long way.
Gift cards could be from grocery stores, Walmart, Wawa, etc., and could be set to any amount.
"The donations have been tremendous," said Cooper. "I thank everybody. From toys to clothes, it all helps."
Many local families have also donated Easter supplies. Parkesburg officials said Dunkin Donuts provided donuts and coffee to the victims, and Councilman Dave Mellima brought Easter treats.
"They will recover," said Parkesburg Borough Manager Joe Reali. "We'll recover. Emergency services are in place, and the support for these people will be there."
Investigators are still working to figure out what sparked the fire.