'I Was Traumatized': Assisted Living Resident Recalls Inferno That Destroyed West Chester Facility - NBC 10 Philadelphia

'I Was Traumatized': Assisted Living Resident Recalls Inferno That Destroyed West Chester Facility

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Senior Home Fire: One Week Later

    One week after a fire ripped through an assisted living facility, a survivor is going back. NBC10's Aaron Baskerville was with her for the emotional trip.

    (Published Friday, Nov. 24, 2017)

    The wreckage remains more than one week after an assisted living facility in West Chester was burned to the ground, killing four elderly residents who could not escape in time.

    On Friday, officials gave NBC10 a close-up look at the damage sustained at the Barclay Friends Senior Living Community.

    “I turned around and saw a sheet of fire,” resident Sue Broderick, who lived in room 215 on the second floor of the south wing, said. “I never seen anything like that before.”

    The fire erupted shortly before 11 p.m. last Thursday while most of the 137 residents were sleeping.

    The blaze started in the back of one of the buildings, ripped through the center and all the way to the ceiling, creating a "raging inferno," Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said.

    Flames tore through the senior living community's personal care wing with such speed that hundreds of first responders rushed into the building without securing their breathing equipment.

    Seniors Flee Inferno at Chester Co. Senior Living CommunitySeniors Flee Inferno at Chester Co. Senior Living Community

    Several firefighters described their helmets melting and cracking from the intense heat.

    The remains of four victims were recovered several days after the inferno. Family members have been notified.

    “I can’t really tell you how I felt,” Broderick said. “It was horrifying and, I guess, I was traumatized.”

    Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.

    "When you look at scene like this, what goes through your mind?,” she asked NBC10. “It's unbelievable so many people were able to escape in such a short amount of time.”