WEST FAIRVIEW, Pa. (WHTM) — Twelve people, including several children, are homeless after a fire ripped through a duplex in West Fairview village on Thursday.

As the sun went down, flames started rising, scorching a duplex in the 1400 block of Third Street around 4:30 p.m.

The flames were high, but Cumberland County was stronger. Several companies responded.

“They got here. They had heavy fire on both sides of this duplex. We had a total of 12 people — nine in one, three in the other — that we had to account for,” said John Bruetsch, Cumberland County’s public information officer.

No one was home at the time, but none of the 12 can go home right now.

“You know, it’s close to the holidays. You’re gonna have families displaced now. There’s a lot of children. They’re going to be away from their friends,” Bruetsch said.

None of the victims had renters insurance, something Bruetsch strongly recommends. He said a few bucks could make all the difference in times like this.

“People that rent, spend that little bit of money and get insurance because you never know,” Bruetsch said.

The fire is being investigated by East Pennsboro Fire Department, but officials said so far, it does not appear suspicious in nature.