ALLENTOWN, Pa. - As plywood got drilled over charred doors and windows on a home in the 700 block of North Fair Street in Allentown, family members of Heriberto Santiago and 14-year-old Andres Ortiz arrived to begin the process of moving on.

“He was a good kid,” said Andres’s sister Jhamiya. “He played football since he was little until now and he loved playing around with people and stuff. He loved saying good things about people.”

Both Ortiz and Santiago died in the fire. One nearby landlord described seeing children escape badly burned, including one who jumped and broke his legs.

Fatal Allentown fire

“Somebody throw kids like a girl from the second floor and he catch her but the other one that they throw the lady couldn’t catch him so she hurts a little in the head but they survived,” said George Pena. “Everybody was crying. And sad.”

On a hot evening, as neighbors stood outside and watched the home being patched up, one young boy from the neighborhood recalled seeing Andres often.

“Yeah, he was a nice kid,” said Isael Lopez. “He had blonde hair and he used to play basketball every single day. He always wore his shirt off. And after that he used to ride bikes for a little.“

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