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Family displaced in Tamaqua fire

Published February 18. 2019 10:37AM

A smoke-filled basement fire in Tamaqua displaced a family of three and caused smoke damage to three other homes Sunday night.

All four of Tamaqua’s volunteer fire companies responded to the 8:58 p.m. general alarm for a possible house fire at 414 E. Elm St., Tamaqua. They found a smoke filled home with a fire in the basement of the half double. The occupants of both homes, 412-414, along with the residents of adjoining homes at 416 and 418 E. Elm St. had all been evacuated by Tamaqua Police, according to Tamaqua Fire Chief James R. Connely.

Less than 20 minutes after their arrival, firefighters declared the fire to be out. Crews remained at the scene for another hour, checking for hot spots and clearing smoke from all four structures.

Chief Connely says the fire was electrical and started in the basement of 414 E. Elm St., which was occupied by Allison Quigg and her two sons. The home is a rental unit owned by Joseph Chamoun. Neither the property owner nor tenant has fire insurance.

The Quiggs will be staying with family as the home sustained fire, smoke and water damage, estimated by the chief to be approximately $10,000.

The other three homes all sustained smoke damage but are habitable. The owner and tenants of 412 and 418 E. Elm St. have insurance, while the property at 416 E. Elm is not insured.

The Tamaqua Fire Department was assisted at the scene by Tamaqua and Lehighton EMS, Tamaqua Rescue Squad, Coaldale Fire Department and the Lansford and Summit Hill rapid intervention team.

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