4 Firefighters Hurt, 3 Families Homeless After Fire Spreads to 6 Homes

By David Chang
|  Tuesday, Aug 6, 2013  |  Updated 11:44 PM EDT
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Fire roared through six row houses in Norristown, Montgomery County on Tuesday.  Witnesses say a worker was using a blow torch on a roof just before the fire. NBC10's George Spencer has details

NBC10.com - George Spencer

Fire roared through six row houses in Norristown, Montgomery County on Tuesday. Witnesses say a worker was using a blow torch on a roof just before the fire. NBC10's George Spencer has details

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Three firefighters are recovering and four families are displaced after a fire damaged six row homes in Montgomery County.

The 2-alarm blaze began at a home on Willow Street in Norristown shortly before 3 p.m. and quickly spread to five other row homes.

"The flames were shooting at least 10 to 12 feet up into the air," said Al Johnson. "Smoke was billowing out of all the homes." 

Officials say some type of work was being done on the roof of one of the row homes when the fire broke out. They also say the blaze began in the roof area. A witness says a worker was using a blow torch to melt a layer of rubber on the roof.

"The dude was actually still working on the lower roof as the flames were emanating from the top roof," said Randy Quintal.

A source close to the investigation tells NBC10 the worker was a friend of one of the homeowners and was working informally. He also says he likely won't be charged for the accidental destruction of the homes.

No residents were inside their homes at the time and none of the workers were hurt. However, three firefighters who responded to the scene suffered minor injuries.

Officials say four of the six damaged homes are total losses and will be condemned, leaving four families homeless.

The Red Cross is providing food, clothing and lodging for 13 adults and eight children affected by the fire.

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