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20 homeless after Burlington fire - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

20 homeless after Burlington fire

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

At least 20 people have been left homeless after a fire in Burlington early Tuesday morning.

At 3 a.m., Barbara Adams woke to the sound of smoke detectors as her third-floor apartment filled with smoke.

"I ran on my porch and ran down the fire escape telling everybody to get out, get out now," said Adams.

Fire crews say the fire began on the second floor in the multi-unit apartment building at 238 College Street.

"It moved through the floor and up and through the walls, so it was a lot of work opening the walls up and finding hidden pockets of fire," said Joe Keenan, assistant fire marshal at the Burlington Fire Department.

"Seeing that fire, all that smoke coming out of these windows, and then my kitchen being lit up... that was too much, way too much," said Adams.

The 20 residents inside got out safely and waited for rescue crews to arrive.

"Everybody was saying, 'Get out, get out! Get out!' I just ran out in my boxers and then we started taking video when the fire trucks pulled up," said Jeff Abir, one of the displaced residents.

"Just looking at it, I'm like I can't believe it’s happening, number one and I'm like, I'm gonna be homeless, number two. I wanted to move, but not his way," said Pancho Trotman, one of the displaced residents.

The fire spread quickly causing damage to the building next door.

"There was a lot of fire within the apartment of origin. That was knocked out fairly quickly but then the rest of it was going through the rest of the building and finding where it extended to," said Keenan.

American Red Cross volunteers arrived on the scene within hours providing support for displaced residents.

"It's important that people concentrate in their own home. Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors. We think of winter as a busy fire season-- this is our 10th response for the Red Cross in just the last three weeks," said Doug Bishop from the American Red Cross.

The landlord of the building is helping residents who were in the building with temporary housing.

College Street at South Union Street was blocked off for several hours this morning but has since reopened.

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