Allentown

Teen and Uncle Die in Allentown Fire, Older Brother Saves 2 Sisters

The 3-alarm fire started at a row home on the 700 block of Fair Street on Monday around 11:30 a.m.

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A teenage boy and his uncle were killed while the teen's older brother saved their two sisters and jumped out of a window during a house fire in Allentown on Monday.

The 3-alarm fire started at a row home on the 700 block of Fair Street on Monday around 11:30 a.m. Cellphone video shows flames shooting from the home as well as a burning air conditioning unit falling to the ground.

Neighbors told NBC10 a 16-year-old boy who lives at the home tossed his two younger sisters out of a second floor window to safety. The teen then jumped as well, breaking both of his legs but surviving.

"He did something amazing," a neighbor told NBC10. "He couldn't go down the stairs with all the fire so the first thing he thought of was to push out the AC and throw his little sister out. Save her at least."

But his younger brother, Andres Ortiz, 14, and his uncle, Heriberto Santiago, 44, were found dead inside the home after firefighters brought the flames under control.

Jeovanni Ortiz, a relative, told NBC10 both brothers are heroes.

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"He is a hero and his little brother, the one that died, I'm calling him a hero too because he got woken up by his older brother and went downstairs to go wake his uncle," Ortiz said. "His uncle was sleeping in the basement."

Ortiz and other family members brought balloons to remember their lost loved ones.

"They're not doing so well. They still can't believe it," Ortiz said. "I was really close to them. We were all close. We're family."

The mother of the four children told NBC10 the little girls are doing well. Three firefighters were also hospitalized for heat exhaustion. 

Officials will perform an autopsy on the man and his nephew. The ATF and the Fire Marshal both arrived at the scene but a cause for the fire has not yet been determined. They continue to investigate.

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