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Dec 8, 3:29 PM EST

Pennsylvania high-rise victims can't return yet


WHEATLAND, Pa. (AP) -- Some tenants of a fire-damaged western Pennsylvania senior citizens' high-rise won't return to their apartments until the end of January.

That's according to Karen Twinem, a spokeswoman for National Church Residences which owns Buchanan Manor in Wheatland, about 55 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

A third-floor apartment burned just before midnight Wednesday after its tenant smoked in bed. That tenant and all others in the five-story, 40-unit building got out safely.

Twinem says residents of 20 units on the fourth and fifth floors will return after fire alarms and sprinklers are fixed, probably by Tuesday. Residents in 17 other apartments with less serious smoke and water damage should return by Christmas.

Residents in the unit that burned, and apartments on either side, probably won't return until late January.

The displaced residents are staying in hotels or with family members.

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