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Video: Firefighters spend hours battling fire in 15 Pa. rowhomes

Easton Fire Chief Henry Hennings said the fire was the biggest in years


6 ABC Philadelphia/YouTube

By Tony Rhodin, Steve Novak
The Express-Times

EASTON, Pa. — Fire crews in Easton’s West Ward spent several hours battling an enormous blaze that has hit more than a dozen row homes that began Monday afternoon, and still faced the prospect of a long night ahead.

Fire Chief Henry Hennings called it the city’s biggest fire in years, affecting at least 15 homes in the 900 block of Ferry Street. The day’s breezy conditions likely helped the fire spread down the block, he said. It also spread smoke at least two blocks away.

Northampton County dispatch reported the fire at 3:40 p.m.; six hours later the fire was under control but not out, said Hennings who expected crews would be on the scene all night. At least two Easton firefighters were treated by medical crews at the scene, and one from Phillipsburg was under evaluation at a hospital. The nature of their treatment was not immediately clear. No injuries to residents were immediately reported.

It was not immediately clear how many people were affected.

Several fire departments from Easton’s surrounding communities were assisting on the scene. Roofs were opened by saws and water was blasted through upper-level windows.

Ruben Torres, 55, who has lived on the block for three years, said he called 911 when black smoke was just coming from the home at 915 Ferry. “I started knocking on windows and doors to get people out,” he said, adding that a lot of elderly residents live in the homes.

Another resident who declined to give their name said neighbors ran door to door to get people out.

Sharbel Koorie, the city’s chief codes administrator who has lived in the neighborhood for decades, said he was having a picnic when he saw the smoke and heard people screaming. By the time he got there, there fire was burning through the back of the homes.

“I was most concerned that everybody got out of the homes,” Koorie said.

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