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Fire damages three row homes

Nine people are left homeless after fire damaged three row homes in Minersville.

An employee of the Schuylkill County Communications Center said the fire with entrapment was called in at 6:05 a.m. at 423 N. St.

Minersville Police Chief Michael Combs said Frank Steckler, 56, was rescued from the second floor of 423 N. St. by Minersville Police officer Tim Welsh. Steckler had smoke inhalation and was treated on scene, Combs said.

He said Welsh did “an excellent job” saving Steckler’s life.

Combs said it looks like the fire started in the kitchen of 423 and spread to 419 and 421 N. St.

“All three homes have fire damage,” in addition to smoke and water damage, he said.

One dog and two cats died. One dog survived. All resided at 423, Combs said. A bunny and an iguana at 419 also survived.

State police Fire Marshall John Burns was on scene as a precautionary measure after being called by Minersville Fire Chief Eric Eichenberg, who did not return a call for comment.

Patty Daley, disaster responder with the American Red Cross, said those affected include Steven Gorman, 37; Christina Gorman, 26; Mary Gorman, 60; and Aubree Gorman, 2, who live at 419 N. St.

Kiera Fasig, 28; Anthony Rodriguez, 36; Anthony Rodriguez Jr., 1; and Kaden Rodriguez, who was born in June, reside at 421 N. St.

Daley said there is “major” fire damage to the homes. The tenants do not have renters insurance.

Christina Gorman said her 9-month-old female bunny alerted her to the fire by making thumping noises downstairs. Gorman, who is usually a heavy sleeper, heard the noise and woke up seeing smoke coming through the walls. She grabbed the bunny and ran. Earlier in the morning the animal was jumping up on her mother Mary’s chest. She let it roam around the house. Gorman said a 40-pound weight usually blocks the cage. She doesn’t know how she escaped but is glad she did.

Christina Gorman's 9-month-old bunny alerted her to the fire in her Minersville home.