Four taken to hospital, two dozen people and four cats rescued from Garfield fire

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A four-alarm fire in an apartment building in Garfield this morning sent four people to the hospital and forced rescues of about two dozen.

Fire Chief Darryl Jones said 10 people were treated on scene and released after the fire on North Negley Avenue. The blaze started in the stairwell of the back building, which is adjoined to the one facing the street, he said.

Those taken the hospital were to be treated for minor smoke inhalation.

The Animal Rescue League took in four cats from the fire, treating three with oxygen for smoke inhalation. Three of the four have been released.

One unidentified older man was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. His neighbor, Evelyn Rodriguez, said the man used oxygen and has lived in the building several years.

"I just feel so bad for him," she said. "He couldn't get out."

Ms. Rodriguez said she began tying bedsheets together to try to get out of her second-floor apartment in the back building of two-building complex.

"I was just going to jump out," she said. "There was no way I was going to get burned up in there."

But firefighters were able to rescue her by extending a ladder to her window, she said.

The fire was reported about 7:15 a.m.

Anna Walsh, a senior at Carnegie Mellon University, was up doing homework in her first-floor apartment when she heard smoke alarms sound just before 7 a.m.

She and her roommate grabbed their cat and climbed out the window. Ms. Walsh said she heard people in apartments above hers calling out for help, and she and her roommate went around to the back of the apartment building.

"There were flames coming out of the back," she said.

Firefighters said Ms. Walsh could return to her apartment this morning, she said.

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Molly Born:, 412-263-1944 and on Twitter: @borntolede First Published March 25, 2013 11:45 AM


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