Fire displaces families

An early Sunday morning fire at Logan Hill Apartments in the 1200 block of South 27th Street has displaced two families that included five children and resulted in the evacuation of a wing of the apartment complex that lasted for several hours.

The Blair County Chapter of the American Red Cross is providing lodging for displaced families and is also asking for food, clothing and comfort items for one of the families.

One family consisted of an adult and two children, the other an adult and three children.

The fire was spotted just after midnight by the mother with two children, including a newborn, who was taking her garbage outside.

According to a neighbor, the mother looked around and saw bright orange coming from apartment 1209 1A underneath hers.

The neighbor, Vanessa Beck, said the young mother, who could not be reached Sunday evening, ran to retrieve her children but then took the time to rap on the doors of her neighbors.

Beck, who has two children in her apartment, was one of the neighbors awakened and was thankful that no one was injured in the blaze.

Altoona firefighters were able to limit the fire to one bedroom in the downstairs apartment.

Beck said nobody was home in the apartment where the fire started.

She commented that things could have been a lot worse for everybody had the mother not taken her garbage outside at midnight and spotted the fire.

The woman who alerted the neighbors also allowed Beck’s children to sit in her car on what was a chilly evening.

The fire brought back horrific memories to another neighbor, Deborah Manbeck, who said there was a fatal fire at Logan Hills several years ago that also caused a great deal of damage because a brisk wind helped spread the blaze.

She was grateful there was no wind Sunday.

Manbeck was working on her computer when she glanced outside and saw the flashing lights of the fire equipment as it arrived.

He said the investigation into the cause of the fire will be conducted by Altoona Fire Inspector Tim Hughes.

A full report on the fire had not been concluded as of Sunday night.