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Resident of fire-ravaged motel in Muhlenberg: 'I have no place to go'

By Liz Kilmer, Reporter, LKilmer@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 24 2014 04:31:56 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 24 2014 06:09:01 PM CDT

Victims of Wednesday's inferno at Klein's Motel in Muhlenberg Township returned to the scene Thursday.

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. -

Dozens of people are now displaced following Wednesday morning's massive inferno at Klein's Motel in the 4800 block of the North 5th Street Highway in Muhlenberg Township.

The blaze engulfed and destroyed the motel's main office, storage facility and the owner's home before spreading to the neighboring business, Metal Service of Temple.

While the motel's guest rooms were untouched by the flames, those who were living there temporarily cannot stay, according to motel owner, Shailesh Kapadia. Rooms have no electric or heat.

Some occupants returned to the scene Thursday morning to collect their belongings.

"I'm just trying to get things together… the important things that I need to keep with me," said Cindy Scornavacchi, who had lived at the motel for six months. "I don't know how secure it's going to be here so I want to make sure I have things that are valuable to me."

Although Scornavacchi stayed with a friend Wednesday night, she was planning to head to the Reading YMCA Thursday evening. There, the American Red Cross is running a shelter and providing assistance for the 30 people displaced.

Kara Mowbray, disaster program manager, said that 16 people stayed at the shelter Wednesday night. She said the shelter would continue to run 24/7 for "as long as necessary."

Meanwhile, investigators are still trying to determine what sparked the 5-alarm fire. Officials said they expect it could take days before they make that determination.

Kapadia told 69 News on Thursday that he and his family are staying with nearby relatives.. He expected to meet with a claims adjuster in the evening.