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Fund set up for Tamaqua fire victims

A Wells Fargo account has been set up for the victims of the Friday morning fire in Tamaqua and friends and family have already started collecting replacement clothes and items.

Those wishing to make monetary donations can do so at any Wells Fargo Bank Branch. The account is set up in the name Moyer Family Fire Victims. Monetary donations may also be taken to Thorn’s Cycles, 615 N. Railroad St., Tamaqua.

Made homeless by the fast-moving fire were Matt and Donna Moyer; David Hartranft and Jessica Biehl and their three children, a 3-day-old boy, a 2-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy.

The fire was reported shortly before 9 a.m., at 500-502 Railroad St., and brought a full response from all four Tamaqua volunteer fire companies as well as the Coaldale Fire Department. Flames were seen shooting from the ground floor windows at 500 Railroad, a vacant structure, as firefighters arrived.

The Moyer and Hartranft families escaped from the adjoining home with only the clothes on their backs. They watched helplessly as their home was devoured by the fast-moving flames. Heavy smoke billowed from every opening as firefighters vented the roofs of the structures.

In less than 30 minutes, the flames were out. The response was fast, but not fast enough to save the homes and the families’ belongings. The rear of the structures seemed to suffer the most damage. Tamaqua Fire Chief Tom Hartz says the preliminary investigation is pointing to an electrical fire in the area of the dryer at 502 Railroad. He also said the two displaced families have no insurance, while the owner of the other side of the duplex, Lorraine Neumann of West Hempstead, New York, was insured.

Friends are collecting the following items for the victims; men’s clothing for Matt, size XX shirts and 40/32 pants and David, M-L shirts and 32/34 pants; women’s clothes for Donna, XL tops and 14/16 pants, and for Jessica, S-M tops and 3/5 jeans; for the kids, boys size 5, girls size 3T and newborn boys.

Shoe sizes are 13 for both men, 8.5 for Jessica and 9 for Donna, boys size 11 and girls size 5. They also need size 5 and size 1 disposable diapers.

Baby Harley drinks Similac regular formula.

To donate items, contact Alesha Witkowski or Todd Wit on Facebook or call 570-429-9346.