Southeastern PA

Neighbors near destroyed senior home marvel at heroism

Nearly 160 residents were inside home.

WEST CHESTER, Pa. - Neighbors near the Barclay Friends: Senior Living Community in West Chester say it's heartbreaking to see the center reduced to rubble.

Some neighbors even jumped into action, assisting the hundreds of first responders that were called to the scene.

“I was nervous for the tenants. I just imagined my mom going through something like this. How traumatic that would be,” said neighbor Joe Glah.

Nearly 160 residents were inside Barclay Friends: Senior Living Community when the fire broke out Thursday night. It quickly went to five alarms bringing 400 first responders to the scene, according to officials.

27 people were taken to the hospital mostly for smoke inhalation and by Friday afternoon 10 had been discharged.

“You could see the flames and hear the helicopters…that commotion,” recalled neighbor Charles Aldworth.

Aldworth says he didn't know anyone living at Barclay but had recently been inside.

“My wife has a senior band. We just played in there about three or four weeks ago and there's a lot of people that are not really mobile,” explained Aldworth.

Neighbors see the damage and believe it could have been a lot worse had it not been for the brave fire crews.

“The firemen are great and I mean look at this. We have volunteers, in this day and age, we still have volunteers doing this for some people,” exclaimed Glah.

Officials say they expect those who remain in the hospital will fully recover.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives will be on scene throughout the weekend investigating how the fire started.

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