House fires displace 30 people

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Families displaced by the early-morning house fires in an Allentown neighborhood are speaking out.

Flames broke out in the 700 block of Fountain Street on Sunday morning. The fires have displaced 44 people, including 12 families. Ten row homes were damaged, two of them were completely destroyed. 

Many reported hearing a blast just before the flames erupted.

"I just hear a boom," said Joy Ugbomah who lives on Green Street. "I look out the side window. it looked like a warp hole with fire."

Cindy Hewko of Fountain Street was woken up out of her sleep to her daughter saying "run."

"All I know is I was woken up by my daughter saying run. So I ran and I was standing outside ever since watching my house burn on fire," said Hewko.

Residents from neighboring streets like 9th and Tilghman had to be evacuated. People were put on a bus as firefighters fought the flames.

Allentown Fire Chief Jim Wehr said that The American Red Cross was notified immediately in efforts to help provide relief to those displaced in the cold and wet weather.

Kristopher Dumschat, who works for the American Red Cross, was at the scene helping families with lodging and assistance.

"The best way to help these people is to make a monetary donation to the Red Cross, cause we will be providing lodging and assistance to these folks," said Dumschat.

Dumschat said that anyone who would like to make a contribution can contact the American Red Cross by calling 1-800-red-cross or by visiting their website.

Allentown Interim Mayor Ray O'Connell made a statement regarding the people whose living situation has been disrupted.

"My hearts go out to the people affected by this incident. I talked to the people on the bus. They are in good spirits," said O'Connell.

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