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Family escapes Upper Milford house fire

Published On: Aug 06 2013 04:29:44 PM EDT
Generic Image -- fire lights photo

Three people and their pets escaped when their Upper Milford Township home caught fire Monday night.

Firefighters from the Vera Cruz-based Citizens Fire Company and the Emmaus Fire Department managed to confine fire damage to one bedroom of the two-story home at John and Winfield streets.

But there was smoke damage throughout the house, said Citizens Fire Company Chief Joe Sherman, who said there also was water damage, primarily on the second-floor.


Sherman said his fire company was holding  its monthly meeting at the fire station, so it was able to more quickly respond when the alarm came in at 8:O9 p.m. 

"It was pushing out heavy smoke when we got there," said Sherman, adding there would have been much more damage "if we didn't knock it down when we did."

The fire chief said there were no injuries.

Residing at the home at 3719 John St. were Debbie Shoemaker, her teen-age daughter Nicole Shoemaker and Debbie's boyfriend Craig Chalibirica, reported Don Smith, assistant fire chief.

Sherman said three dogs, three cats and four or five pet birds also safely  were evacuated from the house.

The displaced family was assisted by the Greater Lehigh Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross. Smith said they managed to find a motel that accepted pets on Monday night.

Smith said the cause of the fire still is being investigated, but appeared to be electrical.