3 homes destroyed in Allentown fire

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - November 11, 2008 The 19 people displaced by the destruction are looking for a new place to live.

The fire started on the 1900 block of South Delaware Street in South Allentown just after 9:00 a.m.

Firefighters arrived to find three row homes fully engulfed in flames.

Fire Marshals say they believe it started beneath the outdoor deck of one of the homes.

"The fire quickly spread along the exterior of the homes, and then into the homes," said Chief Robert Scheirer of the Allentown Fire Department.

In a tragic twist, one of the homes destroyed was the residence of an off duty Allentown firefighter named Rick Ensley.

His mother Ruth tells us her son was home when it happened.

"A fireman called him and said they got a call for a fire in his neighborhood, he wanted to know what was burning. He looked out the door or window and saw a ball of flames," Ensley said.

Rick's home, along with two others, were completely destroyed in the three alarm blaze, a fourth home sustained heavy smoke and water damage.

The damage to the units on either end of the building was minimal.

Terry Kolowitz's mom was one of those more fortunate victims.

"When I came down and saw the three homes in the middle that were totally gutted, and nothing left of them, I just thanked God no one was hurt," Kolowitz said.

This fire ocurred just a couple hundred feet from the site of gas main explosion that leveled 3 rowhouses two years ago.

That blaze happened off the corner of South Delaware and Mohawk Streets. There were no injuries.

No one was hurt in Tuesday's fire.

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