Firefighter hurt while battling Pa. row home blaze
The firefighter suffered a shoulder injury while fighting the fire, which displaced 22 residents
By Pamela Sroka-Holzmann
ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Twenty-two people have been displaced from their homes after an overnight explosion in Allentown.
Around 3 a.m. Sunday morning, residents were awakened by a loud noise followed by heavy black smoke and flames visible, according to city police and fire officials. Allentown Fire Capt. John Christopher said the incident began inside a home at 726 N. Fountain St.
Crews are working to find some pets that are unaccounted for, according to Christopher. A man initially unaccounted for has since been found, who was determined not to be home at the time of the blast, he said.
A row of homes from 714 through 732 North Fountain Street were damaged; at least 10 structures were being readied for demolition, Christopher said at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.
“It’s a mess right now,” he said.
There are no ongoing safety concerns, but the public should avoid the area, city police stated in a tweet.
The cause of the explosion remains under investigation. Crews arriving on the scene didn’t initially detect an odor of natural gas, according to Christopher.
Two Lanta buses are being used as a temporary shelter.
WFMZ-69 News reported a firefighter sustained a shoulder injury while fighting the blaze, and was taken to the hospital. He has since been released.
The Greater Lehigh Valley chapter of the American Red Cross is working to assist the displaced families.
Five people in February 2011 were killed in Allentown in a natural gas explosion along the 500 block of North 13th Street in Allentown. A 79-year-old man, 69-year-old woman, 16-year-old girl and 4-month-old boy were among the deceased. In the end, the blaze destroyed eight row homes.
Crews are continuing to battle a fire in Allentown on the 700 block of North Fountain Street. Multiple homes affected. No injuries to report. pic.twitter.com/dCkQVy92WJ— Katie Katro (@KatieKatro6abc) October 20, 2019
Better photo of the collapsed homes on the 700 block of North Fountain Street in Allentown. pic.twitter.com/ovxEG1IsbZ— Crystal Cranmore (@CrystalCranmore) October 20, 2019
UPDATE: The unaccounted person from this morning's incident has been located safely. The investigation continues into the cause and origin of this possible explosion. There are no ongoing safety concerns. Stay clear of this area #AllentownPolice— Allentown PD (@AllentownPolice) October 20, 2019
Our disaster teams are currently on scene in Allentown after a house explosion and multi-family fire this morning. We will be providing Red Cross assistance to those displaced. Our teams are working with @allentown_EMA and @AllentownFD to assess the number of families impacted. pic.twitter.com/50jipsWNPF— Red Cross Eastern PA (@RedCrossPhilly) October 20, 2019
©2019 The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.)