Lehigh Valley

Historic Bethlehem building damaged by fire may have to be demolished

Commercial building located in heart of the city

BETHLEHEM, Pa. - A historic building in the heart of Bethlehem severely damaged during a weekend fire may have to be demolished, officials said Wednesday.

Officials said demolition is a possibility as they continue their investigation into what caused the Sunday morning fire in the commercial building in the unit block of East Broad Street.

Officials said they are concerned the coming snowstorm will add a lot of weight to the roof of the unstable building.

Crews spent much of Sunday battling this devastating fire, which broke out around 8:30 a.m.

Several businesses located in the building were damaged, including the Leeson law offices .

Crews had to work feverishly to fend off flames at neighboring business buildings, including a dry cleaner, which suffered considerable water damage.

All circumstances considered, fire crews called Sunday's battle a success.

"The homes are real close, and businesses, and they kept it from spreading on both sides, so they made a good stop on this fire," Bethlehem Fire Chief Robert Novatnack said on Sunday.

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