Lehigh Valley

Dog dies beside owner in Hanover Township fire

Dog dies beside owner in Hanover Twp. fire

HANOVER TWP., Pa. - Family and friends paid their respects to a man who died in a fire in Northampton County.

A viewing was held Thursday for 61-year-old James Censchitz, who died from smoke inhalation.

The fire broke out at his house on Mark Twain Circle in Hanover Township Monday night.

People searched the neighborhood for James' beloved dog, Jada, in hopes she survived, but the victim's brother now tells 69 News the dog's body was found with its master's.

James' family finds comfort knowing Jada was there with James.

James' brother John told 69 News, "He always wanted someone that could be a significant other in a big way, he always wanted to marry, however he never did marry, he never had offspring, but five years ago he found Jada."

John said family members held out hope Jada managed to survive the fire.

"We were certainly hoping that Jada was alive. We scoured the neighborhood almost 24/7 and we had others scouring the neighborhood as well," he said.

He said they did finally get confirmation from fire investigators that the dog was found inside, right by James.

"The firefighter came out and told me we found the dog, and then we thought, well this is closure," he said. "Jada was found in my brother's bed."

John said James was a barber for more than 30 years with many loyal customers. He clearly also had a very loyal companion in Jada.

"He was just so happy that he finally had someone that would love him," he said. "Such a wonderful personality and Jimmy just said, 'this is the best thing that ever, ever happened to me.'"

As loved ones say their goodbyes, John said there's comfort knowing James and Jada were with each other.

"He and Jada are together and they're going to ride into eternity together," he said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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