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Neighbors recount scary tale of Allentown fire

By Rosa Duarte, Reporter, RDuarte@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 18 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 19 2013 04:26:43 AM CST

Neighbors recount scary tale of fire

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Twenty people are without a home after a 3-alarm fire engulfed the building they lived in.

Astonishing cell phone video captured the fire at 509 N. Seventh Street as flames engulfed the building Sunday afternoon.

Neighbor Samuel Hernandez watched in disbelief and said he lost his own home to a fire just a few years ago, “It's a lost feeling, not necessarily like you don't know where you're at but you just don't know where you're going to go,” he said.

In one of the videos, you can clearly see 'Wipp Computer Solutions', right next door to where the blaze was happening.

Owner, Neury Wipp says he's closed on Sundays and was having lunch just a few blocks down but his dog Papacito was inside.

“They wouldn't let me pass, I was telling them to open the door to let my dog out because he could choke. After half an hour they finally took him out and he was faint,” said Wipp.

After some oxygen and a day's rest, Papacito is now fine and back to being the store mascot even though he reeks of smoke.

However, Wipp knows things could have been much worse. “He's doing great, he's very happy. This is like a new life for him,” he said.

Luckily, no one was seriously injured but firefighters say the building is a complete loss.

It's a devastating reality Hernandez said he's familiar with and which taught him a valuable lesson. “Dealing with this loss myself, of course I now have renter's insurance. I guess you can say it's a lesson learned,” said Hernandez.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The Red Cross is currently providing shelter for the people who were displaced.