Massive fire ravages North Coventry Township, Pa. apartment building; at least 4 hurt

Katherine Scott Image
Friday, July 31, 2020
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"Everything I have is gone. Everything. Right down to my socks," Donnell Deboer said.

NORTH COVENTRY TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A ferocious fire ripped through a Chester County apartment complex Thursday night leading more than 100 people without a home.

The fire started around 7:20 p.m. at the Ashwood Apartments located on the 700 block of Worth Boulevard in North Coventry Township.

"Everything I have is gone. Everything. Right down to my socks," resident Donnell Deboer said.

As Deboer spoke Friday morning, flames flared up right where her unit once stood.

Dozens of apartments at the three-story building were consumed with flames.

Witnesses said the fire moved along the roof line, hitting apartment after apartment.

At least four people sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Resident Anthony Keyser found his cat unharmed on Friday morning. Keyser escaped with just the clothes on his back.

"Trucks flying in everywhere; they were just flying out of Norco Fire Company. They were filling up from the pond down here," Keyser said.

Fire crews responded from around Chester County, and even from neighboring Delaware County, to help with water supply issues on the scene.

"If we would have had water here, like fire hydrants, that would have never went up," Deboer said.

Around 125 people have been displaced, with the Red Cross providing temporary shelter to more than a dozen families.

Donations filled up a vast room at Norco Fire Company on Friday, as members of the community dropped off item after item.

"We just brought everything we could- blankets, comforters, clothing," Stephanie Metz of North Coventry Township said.

"You're surprised when things like this happen, that people come together and do things for other people," Jessie Baird of North Coventry said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.