An early morning fire in Roxborough has left a Philadelphia firefighter in critical condition.
The blaze occurred at the Abbey House apartments on Domino Lane forcing 100 residents from their homes and injuring two others.
Philadelphia Fire Department Supervisor Tom Honeyford said the firefighter was struck by a responding ladder truck and taken to Einstein Medical Center where he is now in intensive care.
Maryellen Hill said she witnessed the incident.
“I saw the fire engine pull up and when I turned around to look I saw something fly up in the air. I thought it was a trash can but I didn’t have my glasses on. I later found out it was a fireman,” said Hill.
She was first alerted to the fire at 4:45am when she heard the commotion outside of her home.
“Everybody was screaming, crying, it was horrible.” said Hill.
She quickly woke up her 21-year old son, grabbed the one cat she could find and banged on her elderly neighbor’s door to wake him.
Hill was eventually let back into the complex late this morning and was shocked to see her apartment spared from damage.
“Unfortunately, I’m seeing this devastation now in the daylight. It could have been a lot worse,” said Hill.
Hill stood in the parking clutching her cat, Mumbles, who had just been rescued from the apartment.
Hill, along with other residents, are on a waiting list to stay at the Abbey House’s sister apartment at the corner of Ridge and Shawmont Avenue.
She said she was told she might be able to get back into her apartment by tomorrow.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do. I just don’t feel safe going back in there,” said Hill.
More than 100 Abbey House residents were taken to Shawmont Elementary School for shelter this morning.
The two injured residents were taken to Roxborough Memorial Hospital.
Fire Department Supervisor Honeyford said the first of the three alarms went off at 5:25 a.m. today and the fire was declared under control at 6:59 a.m.
Firefighters don’t know what caused the fire and are investigating.