Residents of Reading row home displaced by fire

Reading row home consumed by fire; residents displaced

READING, Pa. - A pregnant mother is among those trying to pick up the pieces after a fire damaged several row homes in Reading on Easter Sunday.

Fire crews were called to the scene at the corner of Mulberry and Douglass streets shortly before 7 p.m., when witnesses said smoke and flames could be seen coming from windows on the top floor.

"The whole third floor is basically gutted," said resident Tamika Archeval, a 6-months pregnant mother of two. She said the fire destroyed everything from her children's birth certificates, to a stroller and other items for her baby girl due in July.

"I wouldn't want to see this happen to anybody. It's hard," said Archeval.

Archeval said she and her children were across town visiting family when the fire broke out. She received notification in a frantic phone call from her downstairs neighbor, Rafaela Soler.

Soler told 69 News that she was asleep when the fire started, but was fortunately alerted by neighbors who saw the flames. She said neighbors broke down her door and helped her to safety.

"It tells me how good neighbors can be," said Soler. "There's good people out there that really care."

Officials said no one was injured, and the fire was contained to the third floor. Other neighboring apartments, including Soler's, faced water damage. Soler and Archeval's family are being assisted by the Red Cross.

"Day by day, we'll be OK. I'm just glad that the kids weren't there and everybody made it out," said Archeval.

The fire remains under investigation.

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