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Many come together to help survivors of deadly fire in Emmaus

By Jaccii Farris, Reporter, JFarris@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 18 2013 02:54:40 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 19 2013 07:04:09 AM CDT

Neighbors, friends remember Emmaus deadly fire victims

EMMAUS, Pa. -

News of a fire that killed four people in Emmaus, Lehigh Co., over the weekend has rocked the borough.

Neighbors and friends of the victims said they are still trying to deal with their loss and comfort the survivors.

At the McDonald's at 1101 Chestnut St., there were tears behind the smiling service Monday. One of the workers, Bobby Taylor, lost his girlfriend when fire swept through their home Sunday.

"It's devastating. We are family here. We all know Maria. Bobby, he is one of us," said Jackie Grube, Taylor's manager.

Neighbors said the fire was horrific with what first sounded like an explosion and then flames that engulfed the home at 36-38 S. Fifth St.

"I was hearing people yelling, crying, screaming. There was people inside the house," said Michael Aldinger, who lives down the street from the fire and rushed to help.

That's when Aldinger said he he saw Taylor standing on the roof of the burning house. Aldinger said he helped Taylor get to safety, but he can't stop thinking about Taylor's frantic cries.

"He was screaming my wife or his girlfriend," said Aldinger. "I don't know who was inside. He was yelling some name, and we tried getting her. We couldn't get her out. It was so bad."

Four people perished in the fire. The Lehigh County coroner's office said it will have to do scientific tests to positively identify the victims.

Grube, the McDonald's manager, said when Taylor's co-workers found out about the fire, they immediately wanted to do something. A donation jar now sits on the counter, and the restaurant is planning a fundraiser to help Taylor.

"We're family. We are going to do whatever we can to get him on his feet and take it from there," said Grube.

A 14-year-old girl was also able to escape the flames, neighbors said.

Taylor's co-workers said their thoughts are with those who died and those who survived the fire.