Friends remember teen killed in Allentown fire

November 10, 2010 4:06:44 PM PST
Authorities have identified the teenager killed by fire last night in Allentown.

The three alarm fire ripped through the end row home on the 200 block of East Elm Street early Tuesday night. The eldest of three brothers, 16-year-old Adrian Pichardo, was found dead on the second floor.

Fire officials have not released a cause, but believe the blaze started in the first floor kitchen, but don't think it was related to cooking.

"We failed to find any kind of smoke detectors in the residence of 251 East Elm," Allentown Fire Department Assistant Chief Lee said.

Pam Gruber works at nearby CJ's Market & Deli. She watched the teen grow up. He used to come in almost daily with his usual being a ham and cheese and a 20 oz Coke.

"Very polite, well-mannered, very friendly," Gruber said.

Neighbors say Pichardo moved in about 8 years ago,

Lindsey Curzi thought back to how she lovingly welcomed him to the block.

"We used to just beat him up, pick on him (laughing) because he was the new kid," Curzi said.

But soon that new kid was a friend, known for his jokes.

Neighbor Michael Kohlmann remembers him as a wizard with computers.

"Whenever I was over his house, he was always on the computer fixing stuff?he was very smart with technology and he was just cool," Kohlmann said.

The fire damaged three homes. The Red Cross is helping those displaced by the blaze.


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