Red Cross Helps 15 Families After 4-Alarm Apartment Complex Fire - KMSP-TV

Red Cross Helps 15 Families After 4-Alarm Apartment Complex Fire

Posted: Updated:
LEVITTOWN, Pa. -

Towering flames and smoke poured out of a Bucks County apartment complex Friday night, leaving more than 100 people trying to put their lives back together. On Saturday, residents were allowed back inside to go through their charred homes and save whatever they could.

FOX 29'S Omari Fleming spoke with them about what can never be replaced.

Fire ripped through the Racquet Club Apartments in Levittown on Friday night, devouring building B.

"It is crazy," said Shane McKavanagh.

The fire sent his father and 15-year-old brother, Taylor, to the hospital with second-degree burns. Taylor's burned arm was bandaged after authorities say he jumped from his second-floor balcony to escape the flames.

The near-death experience put life in perspective for his older brother, Shane.

"You realize he could be taken away at any time," McKavanagh said.

Firefighters spent the day working on the McKavanaghs' unit and a few others, trying to determine what sparked the fast-moving flames.

Forty-three units were destroyed. Fortunately, no one died.

"That was really thoughtful of you," said a property managers thanking 12-year-old Ilijah Rodriguez for his selfless act. He and buddies banged on doors trying to get people out of their homes while the fire was raging.

"I wasn't even thinking about my life," Rodriguez said. "I was thinking about everyone else's. Where are these people going to go? Where are these people going to live? Are these people going to live through this? I don't want people to get hurt."

"I wasn't worrying about myself. I was worrying about those people in the buildings," said another boy.

"He always sends an angel when you need one," said fire victim Richard Anantia. And those little kids were "angels," he said.

Anantia believes that pounding on his door helped to save his life. He and his wife were preparing for bed.

On the day after the fire, the Anantias were among the residents returning to recover what was left of their belongings. His wife's only find after 11 years at the complex was three pairs of glasses.

"I'm thankful that I'm here and not in the hospital where some are," Jean Anantia said.

The Anantias are one of 15 families being helped by the American Red Cross.

Two firefighters were taken to the hospital. They've been treated and released.

The Red Cross response says the best way to assist the victim of this fire is to make a financial donation by going online to redcrossphilly.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS and making a donation to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter, or by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Funds raised during disasters help the Red Cross to be able to respond to disasters in our region like this that happen everyday.

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