Fire forces 100 people from apartment complex

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WIVB) – Tenants knocked on doors and alerted other tenants to a fire early Monday morning inside an apartment building in Niagara Falls.

Flames broke out at the Pine View Apartments, located at 9815 Niagara Falls Boulevard near 98th Street, around 2 a.m.

Battalion Chief Mark Fontella of the Niagara Falls Fire Department said the fire started in a second-floor apartment and then spread up a stairwell to at least three other apartments.

Some residents were awake at the time, heard all the commotion and went around the building waking up their neighbors before getting out themselves.

“Smelled smoke and looked outside and somebody said get out of there and I went around knocked on doors and that was it,” said tenant David Jones.

“I was on my couch and I heard knocking and screaming telling people to get out of their apartment and I walked out of my apartment and they said the building was on fire on the third floor so we all evacuated,” said tenant Phil Burning.

Resident Christopher Rifenbark said, “When you’re that close to a fire it’s scary, I’ve never been that close to a fire.”

Three apartments were badly damaged by the fire, according to fire officials.

Volunteers from the Red Cross have opened a shelter at St. James Lutheran Church, 2437 Niagara Falls Boulevard, for residents displaced by the fire.

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