With food cooking on the stove, a resident left a third-floor apartment on Thursday at 1419 Linden St. in Allentown, authorities said.
The resulting fire heavily damaged the apartment, and the effort to extinguish the blaze led to water damage in the second- and first-floor apartments in the brick, three-story interior row home, city fire department Capt. John Christopher said. There is one apartment per floor, he said.
No one was hurt.
Twelve residents were displaced and the American Red Cross is finding housing for nine of them, Christopher said. The other three had somewhere to stay.
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City police arrived about 12:20 p.m. to find black smoke coming from the third floor, Christopher said. It took firefighters about 30 minutes to put the fire out.
The residents were already outside when firetrucks arrived, but the firefighters still went door-to-door to make sure, he said. Hauling a hose, they had to force their way into the third-floor apartment to get at the fire, he added.
Very little smoke and no fire reached into the adjacent homes in the row, Christopher said.
The fire was declared accidental.
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