AMITY TWP., Pa. - A fire ripped through a home in Berks County early Monday morning. The damage was so severe that two families, 10 people in all, have been left with little more than the clothes on their back.
Emergency crews rushed to the scene of 1143 Benjamin Franklin Hwy. in Amity Township after a fire broke out on the second floor around 12:45 a.m.
"I went behind the bathroom and right there it was, in that room. It was like something exploded. It just burst out in flames," said homeowner Keimer Lessig.
Lessig, a Vietnam veteran, and his wife lived in the home with their dog and four cats. Lessig told us as soon as he saw the flames coming from a second floor bedroom, they immediately called 911 and tried to escape.
"I always said if we have a fire, get into the car and go no matter what, and she did the right thing because the flames started shooting out of the side of the house, and it was the right thing. You never know what could have happened. Anything can be replaced, but you cannot replace a person," said Lessig.
Just hours later, Lessig was clinging to his dog. He told us between the fire, smoke and water damage, they lost practically everything, except old pictures his wife was able to save.
"Can you replace it? No. It is all gone. Just in a puff of smoke. You just do not realize what fire, water and smoke can do," said Lessig.
Lessig, his wife and animals are staying with family until they get back on their feet.
The Red Cross is offering assistance to both them and the other family that was displaced.
Investigators have not yet determined what sparked the fire.
Allentown, PA 18102