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Hundreds Of Residents Evacuated From Senior Center Amid Dangerous Heat Due To Power Outage

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A senior center in the Wynnefield Heights section of Philadelphia has power and air conditioning back after going dark Friday due to a power outage. Nearly 300 residents were bused to a nearby community amid this dangerous heat.

Crews responded to the Pavilion apartments at 3901 Conshohocken Ave. around 8:30 a.m.

Philadelphia firefighters helped senior citizens make their way onto a SEPTA bus to stay cool after a partial power outage at the senior center. At least 290 residents living inside the 12-story building were affected.

Philadelphia fire officials say some air conditioning units worked while others did not. Many without power were forced outside into the heat.

"Not very fun, not too much fun. Trying to stay cool," Rosemary Druch said. "I'm going to get out of the sun because I use four inhalers and it's hard to breathe in the sun."

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SEPTA bused residents to a nearby community center to cool off and receive food and water.

The contracted electric company, Carr and Duff, arrived on scene to try to determine the cause of the blown fuse.

Residents were initially asked to shelter in place and then after hours of intense heat and no power, everyone had to evacuate.

"We had fire watchers stationed on every floor in the building so as the management company goes floor to floor, apartment to apartment, if anybody is in need of any assistance from us, we go up and we take care of them," Philadelphia Fire Batallion Chief Andy Thomas said.

Fire officials say all residents had to leave because the electric company had to cut the remaining power to the building to be able to restore all of it. Crews used some of the partial power to restore one of the building's three elevators to help get the remaining residents out.

"The likelihood of that powering three elevators is good, however we've been instructed by the contractor to use only one elevator because there is the possibility that the elevator may trip or those three elevators may trip again and now we have folks stuck on the elevators as well as evacuation," Philadelphia Fire Assistant Chief Rob Wilkins said.

Wilkins says once the electrical contractor cuts the power, it's a minimum of three hours before it can be restored.

It's still unclear what caused the outage.

CBS3's Chantee Lans contributed to this report.

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