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Police: 4 dead in apartment fire in eastern Pa.

Published March 19. 2013 05:02PM

EMMAUS, Pa. (AP) - Investigators searched Monday for the cause of a fast-moving fire that killed four people inside an apartment building in eastern Pennsylvania.

The blaze was reported just before noon Sunday in Emmaus, a Lehigh County borough about 60 miles northwest of Philadelphia, and quickly spread and burned for hours. Four bodies were found inside, according to Emmaus police Sgt. Todd Garloff.

Lehigh County Coroner Scott Grim planned to use dental records to identify the victims. If dental records aren't available, DNA testing will need to be performed, Grim said Monday.

The blaze sent smoke billowing into the air that could be seen for miles Sunday. Fire officials said the flames were so intense that they needed to pull firefighters out of the duplex for several hours.

"I made the decision, with the other chief officers, to pull everybody out possible collapse," Emmaus Deputy Fire Chief Justin DeLong told WFMZ-TV.

A police officer who responded to the fire suffered minor injuries, police said. A state police fire marshal was investigating the cause of the fire, along with the Emmaus police and fire departments and the coroner's office.

The building had been a funeral home until the 1960s or 1970s, when it was converted into apartments.

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