Home Fire News 2 found dead in burning Allentown home, injuries reported, chief says

2 found dead in burning Allentown home, injuries reported, chief says

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Tony Rhodin
The Patriot-News, Harrisburg, Pa.

Two people are dead and others were injured as the Allentown Fire Department battled a three-alarm blaze late Monday morning in a half-double home in Allentown, Chief James Wehr said.

The two people who died were found inside the house, Wehr said. It has yet to be determined if the fire or something else led to the deaths.

The Lehigh County Coroner’s Office will rule on the causes and manners of the deaths. Coroner Eric Minnich said his office was investigating at the scene.

In a Monday afternoon news release, his office said an adult male and a teenage male were pronounced dead at the scene. The release said more information, including their identities, is forthcoming.

City police and the fire department were also part of the probe. A number of Allentown police detectives were at the scene.

A police captain deferred information to the fire department.

It has been a few years since a death at a city fire, Wehr said.

Three or four people late Monday morning jumped from windows at 739 Fair St., including a younger person who suffered leg injuries, Wehr said.

A sobbing woman was consoled on a side street as firefighters battles hot spots and the heat. The fire was reported at 11:23 a.m., according to Lehigh County’s emergency communication center, and smoke and flames could still be seen at the home an hour later.

The blaze was out when Wehr spoke about 1:15 p.m.

Three city firefighters were taken to a hospital for treatment of heat exhaustion on the 90-plus-degree day, Wehr added.

The front of the double home had heavy burn marks and melted siding at the first floor and second floor windows. There was significant damage to the first and second floors.

It wasn’t immediately clear in which part of the home the fire began or how it started, Wehr said. The connected home sustained fire, smoke and water damage, Wehr said.

The American Red Cross said two adults and four children were displaced, and it was assembling a team of volunteers and partnering with local organizations to provide immediate emergency assistance to them.

It was also providing mental health services to the family of the two deceased people, a spokesman said.

Several surrounding streets were closed. Yellow tape was across an entrance to the Fair Street alley.

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