Update: Red Cross helps families displaced by fire

Firefighters check equipment, foreground, as others clear out rubble from the third-floor room that was gutted by fire at an apartment in the 100 block of East Evergreen Street in West Grove on Thursday. The fire marshal reported there were no injuries. Photo by Chris Barber

WEST GROVE -- Fire gutted the upstairs unit of an apartment in the borough early Thursday morning. Twenty residents of the building at 142 East Evergreen Street were evacuated, said Chester County Fire Marshal Russ Kilmer. He said no one was injured and the Red Cross was notified.

Spokeswoman Sara Smith said Thursday the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania was meeting with residents and was told that seven families have been affected. The Red Cross is working with the families and the landlord of the building to determine what assistance will be needed, but will offer hotel rooms and financial assistance for food, clothing, shoes and coats as well as services to replace lost medications, if needed. Later Thursday, it was announced that four families were provided with lodging, two families had somewhere else to stay and all were given financial assistance for food, clothing, shoes and coats.

The cause of the fire was not known Thursday afternoon, and Kilmer said it is being investigated by state and county fire marshals. The West Grove Fire company received the initial call at about 8 a.m. Additionally, the companies from Oxford, Avondale and Kennett as well as Southern Chester County EMS Medic 94 responded.

An Oxford EMT-firefighter said when his crew arrived, flames could be seen coming from a third-floor window.

Kilmer said the fire was limited to the one unit.

East Evergreen Street between Oak and Prospect avenues was closed for several hours in the morning.

By 9:30 a.m. the fire was extinguished, and firefighters were clearing out the burned remains.

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