Four people died in a fire Sunday that destroyed an Emmaus apartment house at 36-38 South Fifth Street.
The Lehigh County Coroner's Office announced Monday that positive identification of the four victims will need to be made through scientific means:
We are hoping to use dental records if they are available. If positive identification cannot be made through the use of dental comparisons, DNA testing will need to be performed.
Coroner Scott Grim added:
As soon as positive identification and notification to the families has been made, I will release their identities.
The coroner's office along with Emmaus Police and Fire Departments are conducting the investigation with the assistance of 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.
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.
The blaze began shortly before noon Sunday.
A woman who lived in the first-floor apartment of the building told the Morning Call how her father pounded on her door to alert her.
WFMZ posted video that shows flames through the roof of the house.
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.
Responders included firefighters from Emmaus, Upper Milford/Vera Cruz, Western Salisbury and Lower Macungie, as well as ambulance crews from Emmaus and Cetronia.