AMHERST, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A fire early this morning inside a building that houses the elderly and disabled in Amherst sent one woman to a Boston hospital and as many as 70 people weren't sure if they would be able to return home today.

Most of the people living in this building were able to go home. Only a few have to stay with family for a few days while repairs are made inside.

Early Thursday morning, the Amherst Fire Department was called to this apartment building on kellogg ave.

"It was about 3 a.m. and I heard the fire alarms in the morning. I went out on my porch and I saw smoke coming out of the apartment - the fourth floor - and then I saw the flames shooting out 10, 12 feet and I immediately got my jacket and got dressed and got out," said resident Joe Magee.

Firefighters pulled an adult woman out of the flames and she was sent to a hospital in Boston.

No one else was hurt.

The building is home to elderly and disabled residents, so Magee tried to help his neighbors

"I started knocking on some doors to get them up, but didn't have much luck doing that, so I just got myself out," Magee added.

Fire officials determined that the cause of the fire was due to improper disposal of smoking materials. Smoking is not allowed in this building.

"It's my understanding that the non-smoking policy has been in effect for four years and they work with tenants to try and track down smoking when there is complaints," said Pamela Rogers with the Amherst Housing Authority.

Rogers told Western Mass News that the community dropping off food and the support they have received all day has been outstanding.

"We are very grateful to have all the help we've had," Rogers added.

The condition of the woman injured is still unknown.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.


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