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NBC10.com - Deanna Durante
On Monday, firefighters investigated the cause of a blaze that killed four at an Emmaus, Pa. apartment building Sunday. The victims have not yet been identified, and friends are doing whatever they can to help the survivors. NBC10's Deanna Durante reports the details.
Police have identified the four people who died in a fast-moving apartment fire in Emmaus, Pa. on Sunday.
The fire began around noon at a house on South 5th Street that was converted into apartment units. While firefighters eventually controlled the blaze, the coroner’s office was called. Officials say they found four bodies inside.
“I live right down at the corner and I did see them pulling people out,” said John Lake. “They did have body bags out.”
On Tuesday, police identified the victims as Montana Twining, 16, Lena Adamo, 56, David Jenkins Jr., 65 and Melissa Twining, 48. All four victims died from thermal injuries and smoke inhalation according to the Lehigh County Coroner's Office.
The American Red Cross Greater Lehigh Valley Chapter also assisted two families who were displaced by the blaze.
Residents who live nearby say they heard explosions shortly after the blaze began on the ground floor of the building.
“I heard that it could have been gas related,” said Scott Schwartz. “The explosion came out the front window. Twenty minutes after that the roof was on fire.”
Kelly Furlong told NBC10's Daralene Jones that the building was once a funeral home that her family ran until it was converted into an apartment complex.
"It was always home to me," said Furlong. "It's home and it's gone."
Michael Aldinger helped rescue some of the victims of the fire. He says that while he would have liked to do more, the smoke got to be too much.
"I tried helping them but there was too much black smoke," said Aldinger. "I heard a couple people screaming inside the house."
Police are currently investigating the cause of the fire.