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Bethlehem investigators piece together fire that damaged two homes

By Jamie Stover, Reporter, JStover@wfmz.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 08:55:57 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 06 2014 06:23:51 AM CDT

Bethlehem fire

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

Two homes were damaged and a pet cat was killed in a duplex fire in Bethlehem Saturday.

About a dozen firefighters rushed to the 400 block of E. Broad Street around 5 p.m.

When crews arrived, smoke was pouring from the second and third floors of the left side of the duplex.

"I came running out and it was all black smoke coming from the front of the building," said Lisa Rayden, a neighbor.

Officials said all residents managed to get out of the burning building safely, but several pets had to be rescued.

According to firefighters on scene, two pet cats and a turtle were inside the home that caught fire.

One of the cats died. The turtle and the other cat made it out safely.

A pet cat, named Chloe, was rescued from the adjacent home about 45 minutes after the fire ignited, officials said.

A two-year-old dog, Lewis, also made it out of the adjacent home unharmed.

According to officials on scene, at least six people were displaced in the fire and are getting assistance from the American Red Cross.

It's unclear when the two families will be allowed back in their homes.

Officials said both homes sustained water and smoke damage, but it appears both can be repaired.

"The fire building is definitely uninhabitable. There is damage to the wiring, roof area, and floors. They will not go back into that building tonight," said Bethlehem Fire Robert Novatnak.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The fire marshal was called to investigate.