Firefighters rescue people trapped by flames in burning apartment
ALBANY, Ore. -- Two people were rescued by firefighters after they reported that flames had trapped them inside a smoke-filled apartment late Saturday night, fire officials said.
Albany Fire Department said that no one was hurt, smoke from the fire completely damaged the four apartments.
At around 11:20 p.m. Saturday, the residents of an apartment at 23rd and Hill St. called 9-1-1 reporting that their single-floor apartment complex was on fire.
Fire officials said that the two callers reported that they were trapped inside their apartment, as flames blocked their bedroom window and thick smoke filled the rest of the apartment to the floor.
Around three minutes after the call, firefighters arrived at the scene to find one room of the building on fire and smoke coming from the other windows.
Responding firefighters and police officers went inside the building and rescued the two callers as crews worked to put the fire out.
Officials said that they confined the fire to the one apartment, and put the fire out in about 20 minutes. Crews spent over an hour making sure that the fire was extinguished inside the apartment's walls and attic.
The two occupants were taken to the hospital for treatment of fire related injuries. Due to HIPAA regulations officials cannot specify how they were injured. None of the fire or police department members working the fire were injured in the incident.
Extensive fire and smoke damage made the building uninhabitable, and the occupants of the four buildings were given temporary housing.
Investigators are still working to determine how the fire was started.
The latest statistics from the National Fire Protection Association show residential fires are the leading cause of deaths, injury, & property loss from fires in the United States. The Albany Fire Department strongly encourages everyone to verify they have working smoke detectors in their home and to regularly practice their emergency escape plan. The NFPA's website has information on emergency escape planning.