The fire was in the 900 block of Second Avenue. Emergency vehicles blocked that street for most of the morning. It was just after 4:30 Friday morning when Altoona firefighters were called out to battle the residential fire in the city. The five people who lived in the duplex were able to get out safely and there were no injuries reported as a result of the blaze.
Fire fighters quickly put the fire out and traced its cause to an apparent electrical problem in an upstairs wall. With the fire out and clean-up underway, firefighters cleared from the scene. But later in the morning, they were called back because there was still a danger.
The home owner was on the phone with the insurance company about 10 in the morning when he smelling smoke and called an emergency dispatch operator to report the fire had restarted. The workers who were hired to board up the building and start repairs noticed smoke was again pouring out of duplex. It appeared to them the fire was spreading.
Fire fighters responded in force the second time around. It seems changing weather helped restart this fire. The Altoona Fire Chief Tim Hileman said because firefighters had been forced to knock some windows when they fought the first fire, that allowed the wind to blow through the building and may have helped rekindle the fire.
When they battled the early morning fire, an attempt had been made to limit the damage done to the building. The second time firefighters were determined to make sure the fire was completely out and the adjoining buildings were safe.