By Ashley Doerzbacher – WTAJ
ALTOONA – The fire inspector has ruled an early morning fire in the City of Altoona accidental. Tim Hughes, fire inspector for the Altoona Fire Department, said the fire started after a child inside this house here caught the couch on fire, while playing with a cigarette lighter.
Fire broke out here in the 300-block of Lexington Avenue. The fire was fully involved by the time crews arrived. It took about 40 minutes to get that fire under control, nearly two hours to put out completely.
A family of 7 lived inside the home, and everyone was out of the house by the time crews got there. At least four of them were taken to UPMC Altoona and treated for minor injuries. The Red Cross is helping the family.
Three fire fighters were also were taken to the hospital and treated for ankle sprains and heat exhaustion. Those fire fighters are at home recovering.
“I’m glad that our firefighters only had minor injuries,” said Deputy Chief Mike Tofano, of the Altoona Police Department. “It’s certainly a strenuous and dangerous job, but it’s one that our guys are trained to do.”
Deputy Chief Tofano said the fire could have been a lot worse. Only the outside of a house close by was damaged, crews were able to stop the flames from spreading.