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4 Killed In Lehigh County Apartment Fire

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EMMAUS, Pa. (CBS/AP) — Police say a fire at an apartment building in Emmaus has left four people dead.

Authorities say the fast-moving fire was reported shortly before noon Sunday. Emmaus police Sgt. Todd Garloff said early Monday that investigators found four bodies inside. Names and ages of the victims weren’t immediately released.

Garloff says a police officer who responded also suffered minor injuries.

Neighbors say the building had been a funeral home until the 1960s or 1970s, when it was converted into apartments.

Neighbor Eric Ferrizzi said his family saw smoke and flames shooting out of the apartment building, where there are several units.

“There was an explosion out the front which blew glass all the way across the street on the neighbor’s building. So I ran around back and looked up at the third floor building where another explosion took place,” said Ferrizzi.

He did what he could to help as one person inside the building escaped.

“One of the girls that lives in the lower back apartment comes running out screaming, all she had on were her socks,” said Ferrizzi, “And I grabbed her quickly and brought her inside our house and everything to keep her calmed down. Her father was here and I let him know where she was at to be safe.”

Neighbor Phil Rhode was evacuated from his home because police were worried about his wall collapsing.

He also has a lot to clean up, “smoke, a lot of smoke damage, I am not sure how I’m going to get the smell out but we’ll work on that,” said Rhode.

One woman who lives in the apartment but did not want to talk on camera tells us the building uses electric for utilities and not gas.

Fire officials are back on the scene Monday morning investigating what caused the fire.

Garloff says the cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Investigators did not immediately release the cause of death of the victims. Police say more information is expected to be released later Monday.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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