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Apartment Fire Damages Pennsburg Building
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            A fire in Pennsburg on Tuesday damaged four second floor apartments and impacted a Chinese restaurant on the ground floor. A rear apartment, where the fire

originated, absorbed heavy damage, according to Scott Seip, chief of the Pennsburg Fire Company.

            "It's a total loss," he said Wednesday morning.

            According to the chief, the other three apartments and the Golden Bowl – located at 353 Main Street – was damaged by smoke. He said no one was injured.

            The incident displaced residents in all four apartments. According to Seip, the Red Cross made arrangements for them to stay with family or in a hotel until they can return.

            Fire marshals from the borough and the state police have yet to determine the cause of the fire, according to the fire chief. He said the investigation remains open.

            Seip arrived at the scene at 10:53 a.m. to discover heavy smoke at the scene. He noticed flames shooting above the rear roof line. According to the chief, fire fighters needed 45 minutes to bring the blaze – which started the kitchen area of the rear apartment, directly above the restaurant – under control.

            "There was a lot of heat and fire," he said. "It was very intense."

            The incident forced the closure of Main Street between Quakertown Avenue and Front Street in Pennsburg. The street reopened around 1:30 p.m., and the chief left the scene approximately 30 minutes later.

            According to Seip, emergency responders were hampered by a significant amount of clutter inside and outside the apartment. Outside the entrance to the apartment, clutter piled six-feet high near the stairway and the rear door impeded fire fighters' access. He said they were forced to expend extra effort moving the materials.

            Inside the apartment similar conditions caused additional challenges, according to Seip. He said the living space was filled with clothing, nick knacks and furniture. The chief described it as a hoarding situation.

            "The stuff was all over the place," he said. "Nothing was neat."

            Seip said he expects the restaurant to reopen in approximately one week.

            Fire fighters from Red Hill, East Greenville, Milford Township, Hereford, Green Lane, Trumbauersville, Eastern Berks, New Hanover as well as the and Quakertown Fire Department responded to the incident.  

            The North Penn Goodwill Canteen Unit and ambulances from Upper Perkiomen and Bally were also at the scene. Fire fighters from Upper Salford and Boyertown were on standby, according to Seip.





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