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Fire at West Philadelphia apartment building displaces more than 100 people, police say

Red Cross sets up shelter to help displaced residents after West Philly apartment building fire
Red Cross sets up shelter to help displaced residents after West Philly apartment building fire 02:14

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- More than 100 people were displaced Sunday after a fire at an apartment building in West Philadelphia, police said. The fire happened at the Terrace Apartments in the 4900 block of Spruce Street at around 4:30 p.m.

Police responded to a report of people trapped inside the apartment, but no one was injured in the fire, according to police.

"I actually seen fire coming through the roof," Maurice Berry said.

Berry and his wife feel fortunate to make it out of their home. Cellphone video showed the moments flames were shooting out of the Terrace Apartment's second-floor window. 

"Somebody really could have died in there," Berry said. 

Rex Miller, another resident, said it was "pretty much chaotic."

Miller said he smelled the smoke at around 4:30 p.m.

"That's when I knew it was definitely a big problem because someone was beating on the door to get everyone out," Miller said. 

Councilmember Jaime Gauthier said she's "very grateful to the fire department for coming to the scene so quickly and getting everybody out." 

Residents returned to the Terrace Apartments Monday, a day after a fire, but the return was only temporary — just enough time to grab some things and head back out.

"Got the food out of the fridge, some clothes, some other things," Elliott Calloway said. 

Calloway, whose apartment was on the same side of the building as the fire, said his windows were busted out. 

"Definitely non-livable," Calloway said. 

Philadelphia License and Inspection said the east side of the building was heavily damaged. The west side also suffered damage from the blaze. 

Several items need to be fixed before residents are allowed to return for good, according to L&I. 

The Red Cross has a temporary shelter at West Philadelphia High School for displaced residents. Officials said the shelter will stay open for as long as its needed. 

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