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Pa. FFs battle 3-alarm fire in converted Victorian home

Allentown firefighters let the roof of the converted house burn instead of sending firefighters into the attic

By Rudy Miller
The Express-Times

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — A large Allentown home subdivided into at least four apartments was destroyed in a fire Monday evening, according to an Allentown fire captain.

Firefighters battled the three-alarm blaze just after 5 p.m. at 6 N. 17th St., according to fire Capt. John Christopher.

“This was a huge home,” Christopher said.

The fire started on the second floor of the large Victorian home at the corner of 17th and Hamilton streets, he said. It moved quickly into the third floor, attic, and sub-attic on top of that attic, Christopher said.

The home had a slate roof covered by a second slate roof. Firefighters decided to let the roof burn for fear the heavy slate roof would collapse and crush any firefighter sent into the attic to try to put out the fire, Christopher said.

“Once we did that, the bulk of the fire got knocked down,” he said.

Firefighters were still at the home two hours after the initial call dousing pockets of fire, he said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Christopher said.

Christopher said the residents got out safely. No one was hurt, although one resident was checked out by EMS but refused treatment, the fire captain said.

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