Fire forces seniors to evacuate Bethlehem high-rise

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An apartment fire tonight at the Fred B. Rooney Building in Bethlehem forced between 80 and 100 residents from the high-rise, a fire official said.

Bethlehem Fire Department Capt. Raymond Buttillo said the blaze was quickly contained. There were no injuries except for one firefighter who complained of a pulled back muscle.

The fire, which was reported about 7:50 p.m., originated in a third-floor apartment kitchen, Buttillo said. The fire damaged a stove top, range hood and some cabinets, he said. The fire also left the apartment with smoke and soot damage.

As the building’s fire alarm sounded, residents in the third and fourth floors were evacuated, Buttillo said. However, they soon returned to their apartments. Residents on other floors were not affected.

There were no heat-related problems from the fire, he added.

Sixteen firefighters from three of the city’s fire stations responded, Buttillo said.

The Rooney Building, at 4 E. Fourth St., is a 14-story apartment building.

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