Ten disabled residents were left homeless early Wednesday after a lightning strike ignited a blaze at the former Miners Hospital nurses dorm.

Campbell Place – in the 800 block of 22nd Street – sustained damage to the attic and roof, and four of eight apartments were damaged by water and smoke. A Head Start classroom also sustained minor damage in the 3 a.m. blaze.

Campbell Place, which is owned by the Northern Cambria Community Development Corp., was renovated in 2003 at a cost of about $1 million. The facility at first housed victims of domestic violence, and it now houses the physically handicapped.

No injuries were reported.

According to a statement from NCCDC President Jerry Brant, all of the occupants were able to exit the building. Brant credited their safe exit to two residents who are members of Spangler Volunteer Fire Company.

NCCDC program Director Connie Kuzma said the two residents, one of whom is legally blind, went knocking door to door to warn others.

She said all the residents are staying with family or friends until other temporary quarters can be located.

A damage estimate was unknown, but the building is insured, and Brant said residents will be able to return once the building is repaired.

“The Red Cross will be assisting those residents with clothing and food,” Kuzma said. “Temporary housing will not be a problem.”

She said she didn’t know whether the Head Start program will be able to begin on time in the fall.

“(Program requirements) require us to have two entrances and two exits. And because of the fire, we now only have one way in and one way out,” she said. “This will complicate getting people back in.”

In September, a fire in Colver destroyed another NCCDC property that housed a northern Cambria County Head Start program – which later relocated to Campbell Place.

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