Firefighters responding to a fire Monday morning on Broadway pulled one resident from a rooftop and extinguished the flames shortly afterward.
The fire was one of two in the city that morning. Firefighters were also called just before noon to Duane Avenue, near Brandywine Avenue.
Firefighters were called to the former dance studio at Broadway and Hegeman Street just after 9 a.m. Firefighters responding from downtown could see the smoke, Fire Chief Michael Della Rocco said, and called in extra manpower.
When they arrived, firefighters found a resident had climbed out a window onto an adjacent roof at the same level. That person is believed to have been taken to the hospital for treatment of smoke exposure, Della Rocco said.
As for the fire itself, firefighters got inside and knocked it down quickly.
“It was a fairly good-size fire in this apartment, but our crews were also able to prevent extension into the attic,” the chief said.
The building has been home to a succession of businesses over the years, Della Rocco said, from a department store to a night club and a dance studio. Though the dance studio signs remained legible after the fire, the space had been vacant in recent years.
Upstairs, there were believed to be multiple apartments, but only the one individual was found when firefighters arrived. Investigators were trying to contact other residents.
Meanwhile, Della Rocco said firefighters were called to 403 Duane Ave. just after 11:30 a.m., when a passing police officer reported smoke coming from the building. When firefighters arrived, the two-story house was heavily involved in flames.
Firefighters turned their immediate attention to saving surrounding structures, including the old Mahoney’s Hardware complex, which wraps around in an “L” from the burning building to Brandywine Avenue. That building, which is undergoing renovation, sustained melted siding, Della Rocco said.
One firefighter was evaluated after getting debris in his eye.
The house was gutted by the fire, and city officials expect to demolish it. The building was already owned by the city, Della Rocco said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but Della Rocco said investigators have received reports from witnesses that people have been going in and out of the building.
“The circumstances do raise many questions,” he said.