Rolling Hills Apartment Fills With Smoke; None Injured
SANATOGA PA – A pot left unattended on a hot stove (at top and below) appeared to be the culprit Wednesday (Dec. 23, 2020) shortly after 9:30 a.m., as volunteers from the Sanatoga and Ringing Hill fire companies, as well as Lower Pottsgrove police, responded to a call at Apt. 193 in the Rolling Hills apartment complex at 2120 Buchert Rd.
No injuries were reported, no flames were visible, and first responders did not use hoses they had rolled out if needed. However, the unit was affected by heavy smoke (above) that permeated its first and second floors.
The incident officially remained under investigation Wednesday morning, according to Lower Pottsgrove Township Fire Marshal Lew Babel, who was at the scene.
Montgomery County dispatchers set the fire companies in motion after receiving a call from occupants of a nearby unit. They said they could smell something burning in the apartment, and heard a smoke alarm sounding and a dog barking, but no one answered at the locked front door. Two men (at right) had difficulty getting into the unit with both keys and a drill, and also found first-floor windows locked.
Only when firefighters arrived and erected a ladder to the second floor did one find an unlocked window and crawled inside through it. “Smoke!”, he immediately yelled (below), prompting colleagues on the ground to start unraveling hand-held hoses as Ringing Hill’s tower ladder also moved into position.
The door was opened by the firefighter from inside, and fans were placed to blow smoke away and improve visibility. Several minutes later firefighters brought out the suspect pot (below), burned at the bottom and still smoking, and placed it on the concrete entrance steps for inspection.
The rented apartment was unoccupied at the time, although one of its residents arrived at the home just as firefighters prepared to leave (above at right).
Photos by The Post