Bodycam video shows officer moving through a burning apartment fire during a wildfire in Oxford, Pennsylvania – NBC10 Philadelphia
Body camera footage shows a police officer moving through a burning apartment complex and warning residents as a massive fire spreads through buildings in Chester County.
Authorities said the fire broke out late Wednesday night around 11:30 a.m. in some apartments along South Third Street, near East Locust Street in the heart of downtown Oxford, Pennsylvania.
Oxford Police Officer Scott Richards and his partner, Officer Carliana Eller, were among the first responders to arrive at one of the burning buildings.
“Almost everyone was asleep,” Officer Eller told NBC10. “We were knocking on doors as hard as we could. We would walk into any door that was open, because at that point, we had to do it.”
Andrea Seidenstricker was among the sleeping residents of the apartment when the fire broke out.
She said: “I was completely asleep and I heard noise and screaming and I ran to the door and the police said the building was on fire and I had to get out.”
On Friday, police released about 30 seconds of body camera video of Officer Richards as he and Officer Eller moved through the burning apartment complex and warned residents.
“Get out! Get out! Go! Go! Go,” Officer Richards shouts at the residents.
At one point, the video shows flames behind the window.
The fire quickly spread to nearby buildings and businesses and four alarms were responded to as heavy smoke and flames could be seen coming from the buildings early Thursday morning.
“There was a girl, she went home and her bed caught fire while she was sleeping in the bed and she wasn’t wearing any clothes or anything because she was asleep,” Officer Eller said.
Oxford Borough Police urged people to “avoid the area of S Third St from Market St to Hodgson St” while crews battled the flames.
The Oxford Area School District closed all schools Thursday “due to a widespread fire in the Oxford area this morning.”
Damaged buildings continued to burn late Thursday morning.
About 90 people living in more than two dozen housing units were left without homes.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania District of the American Red Cross said it had opened a shelter at Pennsylvania Grove Middle School.
“At the shelter, we provide individuals and families with comfort and care, including a safe place to sleep, meals, snacks, water, personal hygiene items and emotional support,” spokeswoman Alana Mauger said. “All those displaced by the fire are welcome.”
Several businesses in the historic downtown section of Oxford were also destroyed.
“Knowing that it will never be the same is sad,” Officer Eller said. “There’s a lot of history and a lot of emotional connection to these buildings.”
Oxford business owners pledged to rebuild.
“It’s going to be a long journey. It’s going to have an impact, as you can imagine,” said Ed Hare, owner of the snack company and president of Oxford Mainstreet. above.”
Despite the massive destruction, no injuries or deaths were reported, thanks in large part to the quick actions of Officer Eller and Officer Richards.
“It was a crazy experience,” Officer Eller said. “But it’s nice to see how our community comes together to help each other in these situations.”
Dozens of families woke up just in time to escape a fire that burned several buildings including their homes late last night in Chester County. The fire broke out early Thursday morning on Third Street in Oxford. NBC10’s Leah Oko spoke to residents about how the fire devastated their community in many ways.
(tags for translation) Chester County