Investigators continue probing the cause of a ferocious fire that killed four people as it consumed an Emmaus duplex at 36-38 S. Fifth St. on Sunday.
The Lehigh County Coroner will use dental records and maybe even DNA to positively identify the victims because their bodies were so badly burned.
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Meanwhile, staff at McDonald's in Emmaus say the girlfriend of one of their co-workers is among the dead. the McDonald's manager said.
Citing family members as sources, WFMZ is identifying the other victims as a mentally disabled mom—Melissa Twining—and her son, Montana, a 16-year-old East Penn School District student. The fourth victim, WFMZ says, is Melissa Twining's boyfriend, who did not live in the building.
Melissa Twining went to Liberty High School in Bethlehem, according to a Morning Call report.
The coroner's office along with Emmaus Police and Fire Departments are conducting the investigation with help from the Pennsylvania State Police Fire Marshal.
The fire was so intense that firefighters were unable to get into the double house to attempt a rescue, according to multiple reports.
The blaze began shortly before noon.
A woman who lives across the street says her daughter heard a "boom." The sidewalk in front of her house was covered with shattered glass from windows that blew out of the burning building.
A fire survivor told the Morning Call he thinks oxygen tanks used by a resident may have exploded. A woman who lived in a first-floor apartment of the building told the Call how her father pounded on her door to alert her.
Michael Marks, who lives on Second Street, watched from the parking lot of Volpe's Sports Bar as firefighters continued to vent the roof and wet down the building hours after the fire.
Marks said he saw flames shooting from the windows and roof when he first got to the scene. He found out about the fire from two friends—volunteer firefighters—who sent him a text message on their way to the call.
The American Red Cross Greater Lehigh Valley Chapter said it is assisting a family and a couple displaced by the fire. The Red Cross provided food and clothing to an adult and two children; the couple received assistance for food, clothing and shoes.
Lehigh County property records online show that the building is owned by Michael F. and Loretta A. Boyko of Macungie. The building was a funeral home for many years before being converted to apartments, according to multiple reports.
Responders included firefighters from Emmaus, Upper Milford/Vera Cruz, Western Salisbury and Lower Macungie, as well as ambulance crews from Emmaus and Cetronia.