A total of 13 residents from two adjacent downtown Tamaqua apartment buildings were temporarily evacuated around 12:15 AM today (Friday, December 5, 2014) after smoke began filling multiple apartments.
Tamaqua Police and other emergency responders were initially dispatched to an upper floor of a 4-story apartment building at 12 West Broad Street, which also occupies Pennsylvania Performing Arts Center. After hearing his smoke detectors going off and seeing smoke, a male tenant call 911.
Emergency officials quickly responded and determined the smoke to be coming from the adjacent 4-story apartment building at 14 West Broad Street. Marta’s Check Cashing is located on the first floor.
Officials has to break the front glass of Maria’s Check Cashing to gain entry.
Firefighters, who were working in below freezing temperatures, could be seen on the rooftop of both apartments during the investigation.
Exhaust fans were placed at various entry and exit points to both apartment buildings.
American Hose Company Fire Chief Jim Connely, and officer in charge, stated the cause of the smoke was related to a heating malfunction in 12 West Broad Street.
Responding were Tamaqua Police, Tamaqua Rescue Squad, Tamaqua Ambulance, and all Tamaqua fire companies.
Tamaqua Fire Police closed that part of SR209 for the response and investigation.
Tamaqua Salvation Army offered temporary housing if needed.