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Lehigh Valley

Cause of fire that forced dozens from homes ruled "undetermined"

BATH, Pa. - The cause of a fire that forced dozens of people to be evacuated from their homes Monday has been ruled "undetermined".

A State Police Fire Marshall ruled on the cause of the fire Tuesday morning.

The fire broke out just before 9:30 a.m. Monday at 128 S. Chestnut St. in Bath,
Northampton County.

One man and two dogs were rescued from the house.

The borough shut off power to the street and more than 100 neighbors were evacuated. Wolf Elementary served as a temporary shelter. Residents were allowed back into their homes after power was restored later in the afternoon.

Dozens of fire trucks from around the region responded to the blaze.

A state fire marshal will be investigating the cause. Fire marshals are involved only when there is a death or when the cause is suspicious. 

At first, the fire appeared suspicious but after further investigation, the Fire Marshall says the cause is "undetermined."

John Briele, the male rescued from the home, told investigators the fire started when he turned on an overhead exhaust fan while cleaning motorcycle parts in the basement, using an aerosol brake cleaner.

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