Massive Fire at Senior Living Center Near Philadelphia Leaves at Least 27 Injured
On Thursday, a massive fire broke out at a senior living center outside of Philadelphia, leaving at least 27 people injured, according to multiple reports.
The five-alarm fire at Barclay Friends Senior Living Community started after 11 p.m. on Thursday. It took hours before firefighters were able to get control over the blaze, according to ABC News.
The Associated Press reported that after the fire started, dozens of neighbors helped staff with rescuing residents, carrying some of them to the ambulances on makeshift gurneys. Some of the residents were taken to a shelter set up at a nearby college, according to USA Today.
According to West Chester’s Daily Local News, ATF Special Agent in Charge Don Robinson said there have been no confirmed deaths, but that “we’re still trying to account for everybody before we make a final determination.” During a press conference on Friday afternoon, ABC News reported that West Chester Police Chief Scott Bohn said that approximately 27 people were injured, but that they were all expected to survive.
The investigation remains ongoing as authorities work to determine the cause of the fire, according to USA Today. Neither the West Chester Police Department nor the ATF immediately returned PEOPLE’s requests for comment.
In a statement shared on their website on Saturday, Barclay Friends said that they “are all deeply saddened by this tragedy” and “distraught that there are residents that remain unaccounted for.”
“As the local, state and federal authorities continue to investigate, we are focusing on the needs of the entire Barclays Friends family. We have reached out to all the residents and their families, connecting with most, to offer support and coordinate individualized next steps and the way forward,” the senior living center continued.
The residence added, “We have also made counseling services available to residents, their families and staff members. In the days and weeks that follow, we will begin to determine our next steps in supporting the short- and long-term needs of our community.”
On Sunday, Barclay Friends provided an additional update on their website, announcing that family members of the residents who were displaced by Thursday’s fire could pick up clothing and other supplies from the Good Will Fire Company on Monday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
A spokesperson for Barclay Friends told PEOPLE that they are currently gathering donations for the residents, and that the response from the community has been “unbelievable” and “very heartwarming.”