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Tenants, business owners assess damage from Tamaqua fire

A fire in Schuylkill County ruined several businesses and forced more than a dozen people from their homes. Newswatch16's Claire Alfree shows us the aftermath.

TAMAQUA, Pa. — Tenants and business owners are still sorting through rubble on West Broad Street in Tamaqua.

On Saturday afternoon, a fire tore through four buildings, damaging several businesses.

The Bowe & Odorizzi Law Offices nearby were mostly spared.

"Smoke damage, we have water damage. The fire didn't actually make it as far as our building, but we know we still have some damage that we have to look at and get some things replaced and whatnot. Our roof, lots of traffic on our roof that night," explained Tony Odorizzi.

Fire officials say the flames started in an apartment at 117 West Broad Street and spread from there, and 13 people were forced out of their homes.

All the buildings involved have been condemned by the borough.

"We know that some of the folks were helped by the Red Cross to at least get like one night stay. And I saw some of the people out here this morning we were talking to are hoping that insurance can help them out to some extent. The displaced families, I don't know where they are at this point," added Odorizzi.

While he feels fortunate that no one was injured in the fire, Odorizzi feels for the business owners and tenants who lost everything.

"I see these same owners all the time, in and out of their properties, and I feel bad for them all. The bike shop, the barbershop, the daycare, I know these people, and I feel bad for them," Odorizzi said.

Tamaqua Fire Chief James Connely says the cause of the fire has not yet been determined, and the investigation is ongoing.

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