Burning Oil in a Pan Causes Condo Fire: Officials

Officials have released the cause of a fire at a condominium complex in Montgomery County.

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    A 3-alarm fire broke out at a condominium complex in Montgomery County on Friday. Seven people, including two firefighter, were injured while 30 people were displaced.

    Officials have released the cause of a fire at a condominium complex in Montgomery County.

    The fire began Friday around 9:30 p.m. at  the Chelsea Condominiums complex on the 1600 block of Church Road in Wyncote. PA. Witnesses at the scene told NBC10 the complex is a popular off-campus housing for students from Arcadia University.

    The fire was caused by burning oil in a pan on a stovetop inside a third floor unit of Building B, according to a press release from the Cheltenham Fire Marshal's Office. The fire spread to the cabinets and the resident evacuated the apartment and called 911 after being unable to extinguish it.

    Around 125 firefighters arrived at the scene six minutes later. By the time they arrived, the fire spread to the common cockloft above the apartment, the interior building corridor and adjacent apartments. At least three people were pulled from the burning building. Firefighters plucked some from their balconies.

    The fire went to four alarms before it was placed under control around 3 a.m., according to officials.
    Two firefighters and five residents were taken to the hospital. Officials say they all suffered from non-life threatening injuries.

    The entire complex was evacuated. The gas and electric units inside the complex were turned off. The fire severely damaged or destroyed nine units on the third floor while many other units suffered fire, water and smoke damage. The entire building is now uninhabitable.

    “I know the management of the property is working to come up with answers and help for the residents,” said Chief Joe Stuckert of the Glenside Fire Department. “They have to work with PECO and contractors to try to get the gas and electric back on. We can’t allow them into the building at this point in time until we can deem it safe.”

    “I heard more sirens than I’ve ever heard,” said Michael Cleary. “I’ve been in Glenside for almost 20 years and heard more sirens than I’ve ever heard. You can smell the smoke almost through my windows in the house.”

    The Red Cross opened a shelter at Cheltenham High School and are currently assisted many displaced residents.