RUTLAND (CBS) – A fast-moving fire tore through a Rutland apartment building Friday afternoon.
“I went out to the deck and I could see the smoke coming from the other side of the building, and all of a sudden we heard a man yelling for help,” said Mary Jane Eckhardt.
Fifty people in the Maple Street apartment building are now displaced. The one man who lived in the second floor apartment where the fire started suffered severe burns.
“The gentleman where the fire started jumped off the deck,” Eckhardt said. “He was on fire.”
The man was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
“There were flames shooting out of that second floor, I mean engulfed with flames,” another witness said. “It was bad, it was just flames beyond flames, it was scary.”
The Rutland fire chief says residents were caught off guard since alarms go off in this building frequently when people are cooking. His firefighters and those from seven surrounding departments scrambled to get residents out.
“We did multiple rescues over balconies, on ladder,” said Fire Chief Seth Knipe. “Our initial crews fought an aggressive fire inside met with heavy heat and smoke.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation.