Lehigh Valley

Residents still displaced after fire at apartment building

Residents still displaced after fire at apartment building

PALMER TWP., Pa. - Some Northampton County residents are still out of their homes Friday after a fire at an apartment building in Palmer Township.

The blaze broke out Thursday afternoon at the Gateway Terrace Apartments.

It only took about 20 minutes for crews to get the blaze at the Gateway Terrace Apartments under control, but for folks who call building C home, the headaches have just started.

"Because of the significant fire into the attic, a lot of the electrical wiring has damage," explained Palmer Township Fire Commissioner Stephen Gallagher.

Right now it's unclear which apartments are connected to the burned wires, so no one is allowed inside.

Signs are posted on every unit informing people it's unsafe to be inside; that means residents living in 16 units can't be in their homes.

"We don't want to turn on any electric so we don't cause another hazzard," Gallagher shared. "There is a potential for another fire risk if we did something like that."

Management has offered residents other apartments in the complex.

People have been stopping by to gather belongings, including 67-year-old Mary Killy.

"It's very frustrating," she said. "It's been very bad for three years now since I've been here."

This is the third time she's had to move apartments thanks to a catastrophe, all the while dealing with a lung cancer diagnosis.

"With me fighting, I'm supposed to get rest," Killy added. "This is not rest, this is stress."

She's not alone in her frustrations.

Folks tell us it's been hard to get information about how long the repairs will take and how extended their stays away from home will be.

"One person said six weeks then another person tells you six months, so I really don't know at this point," Scott Faulstick described. "I would love to have answers but there's nothing being said."

What sparked the fire is still under investigation.

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