Man, teenage nephew killed in fire as others jump to safety

July 28, 2020 GMT

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Family members are mourning the deaths of a man and his teenage nephew after fire swept through a three-story home in eastern Pennsylvania, killing the two and injuring others.

Fire crews called to the Allentown home at about 11:30 a.m. Monday reported that flames had spread through the residence and several people were forced to jump from a second-floor window.

The Lehigh County coroner’s office said Tuesday 14-year-old Andres Ortiz died of thermal injuries with smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide while 44-year-old Heriberto Santiago died of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide. Both deaths were ruled accidental.


Wehr said it wasn’t immediately clear where the fire originated or how it started, although it didn’t appear suspicious. A connected home was left with fire, smoke and water damage. Three firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion.

Jose Ortiz, a cousin, told The (Allentown) Morning Call that Santiago had moved to Allentown from Florida about a year ago and worked in a warehouse as a forklift driver. He said the teen enjoyed playing basketball and would attach small motors to bicycles to zip around the neighborhood.