61 cats, 2 dogs die in Schnecksville
SUSAN BRYANT/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Volunteer firefighters from 14 fire companies fought a three-alarm fire just after noon Tuesday at 4701 Route 309 in Schnecksville. Six more companies were on standby in the area.
Sixty-one cats and two dogs were killed when a three-alarm fire broke out shortly after noon Tuesday in a 200-year-old North Whitehall Township building.
The structure housed four apartments and two businesses.
Schnecksville Fire Chief Ron Stahley said 60 to 70 firefighters from 14 fire companies fought the blaze at 4701 Route 309 in Schnecksville.
Six more companies were on standby in the area.
"Five adults and two children were in three separate apartments. Two employees were in the insurance office and one person was in the gold coin shop when the fire broke out," Stahley said.
"Everyone was evacuated safely."
One firefighter was exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion and transported to the hospital, Stahley said.
He said the fire was declared under control around 2:30 p.m.
"Firefighters worked very hard to save this 200-year-old structure," Stahley said.
Stahley said the cause of the fire and where it started is being investigated by North Whitehall Township Fire Marshal Don Jacobs and South Whitehall Township Fire Marshal John Frantz.
The American Red Cross Greater Lehigh Valley Chapter responded to the blaze, providing comfort kits to displaced residents.
Two adults received food, lodging and clothing assistance.
Another adult received assistance for food.
A family, which included two adults and two children, received assistance for food.
Two apartments were vacant.
No other details were available at press time.