New Castle News

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January 11, 2013

Photo Gallery, Story: Fire displaces Crestview Gardens residents

NEW CASTLE — Fire that broke out in a Crestview Gardens apartment Thursday displaced about 15 people from six units.

New Castle firefighters responded to apartment 2-B at 1134 Parkwood Court, the home of Tamesha Jackson, where fire had broken out in the kitchen around 11:40 a.m., according to police and fire reports.

The firefighters rescued a dog that had been trapped inside that unit, but no human injuries were reported.

Mark Panella, the city’s assistant fire chief, said someone in the apartment apparently had left something on the stove. When firefighters arrived, smoke was coming out of the roof, vents and apartment door.

A maintenance man tried to get into the apartment but was unable to open the door.

“My guys gained entry and made a great stop,” Panella said. Five firefighters were called out on the first alarm, then a second alarm summoned five more.

“The smoke was really thick, down to the bottom of the floor and down the steps,” he said, adding, “It was heavy black smoke.”

Panella said he carried out the small breed dog, gave it oxygen and handed it to the owner, who took it to a veterinarian.

“It was breathing heavy and I wrapped it up in a towel and took it out.”

Panella, who noted two people lived in the apartment, said the kitchen and part of the living room were destroyed by the blaze.

The rest of the building had heavy water and smoke damage, he added.

Five apartments occupied by nine people in that building were evacuated, and another apartment with six people was vacated in a neighboring building, he said.

The American Red Cross was summoned to provide assistance to the displaced residents, and they were herded into the office to wait until help arrived.

Firefighters were at the scene for nearly an hour and a half.

Chris Fabian, a New Castle policeman who also responded, said the cause of the fire appears to have been accidental, having started at the stove.

“They saved the dog,” he said of the firefighters.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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