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Altoona House Fire

Ralph Lee with the Altoona Fire Department said the house is a total loss, with a neighboring home at 1013 sixth avenue suffering damage as well.

“We’re working on getting [the house] brought down, because of the unstable structure of the building, which required us to fight the fire from the outside. 1013 has significant damage done, and it’ll have to be evaluated by the owner and the insurance company to see if it is actually salvageable,”

Lee said the fire was contained to the back of the house, but extended into the second and third floors. He said 33 firefighters worked to contain the fire in about an hour. Lee said crews faced several challenges while battling the fire, from nearby traffic to the homes being close to one another.

“Traffic was backed up, so we had a hard time accessing the front of the structure. We’re fortunate; We have a great water system, we have very dedicated personnel here at the Altoona fire department that work very hard to provide good customer service to the citizens of Altoona.”

Lee said if you see an emergency like this, you should always dial 911. He said crews typically go into house fires assuming that there are people inside. Lee said he’s reminding community members that the best thing to do when you’re at a fire is to stay on the other side of the street.

“We understand that life safety is always going to come first. When you grab firefighters and you try to slow them down by asking questions, you’re not allowing them to do their job in a time efficient manner,”

Fire officials say one person was injured and taken to Altoona hospital.

They say the house is being deemed a total loss at this point.

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