Crews battle apartment fire in Ephrata

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Officials in Ephrata say 150 firefighters were called to a building fire that damaged eight apartments along the 800 block of Dawn Avenue.

Investigators say the fire started after a maintenance worker tried to light a furnace in a vacant first floor apartment.

Linda Smith says she thought a truck had smashed into the building. “I heard a loud explosion,” said Smith. “Everything in my house moved.”

Smith said she ran outside and saw smoke and flames coming from the roof. She noticed people were standing around, but she didn't see her friend who lived in the building. Smith said she ran to her friends apartment and found her standing at the door, so she helped her move to a safe location.

More than 150 firefighters from the region were called in. Investigators said the smoke, flames and water damaged all eight apartments in the building. Officials say 22 people were effected by the fire. The American Red Cross is providing assistance.

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