2nd Allentown building with same owner catches fire

2nd Allentown building with same owner catches fire

Fire breaks out in second building owned by Nat Hyman

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – One week after a huge fire destroyed a vacant warehouse in Allentown, flames broke out in another building owned by the same person.

The second fire started just before 10 p.m. Sunday at a building in the 300 block of Gordon Street in Allentown.

Fire at second Nat Hyman property in Allentown under investigation

Fire officials said it was a small fire contained to the second floor. Crews were able to quickly knock it down.

Hyman owns that building, and the nearly-demolished building in the 400 block of Franklin Street which was the site of a huge fire last Sunday night.

No one was injured in the Franklin Street blaze, but it took crews hours to get the flames under control. Firefighters remained at the scene for days putting out hot spots.

A contractor began tearing down the building Thursday after Allentown City Council agreed to foot the $1.25 million bill. Hyman said he could not insure the building because it attracted squatters and vandals.

Hyman said he does have insurance on the Gordon Street building. Part of the facility is occupied apartments.

The fire broke out in a vacant, unused section of the building. Hyman says neither building had electricity, heat, water or gas. He told WFMZ's Josh Rultenberg he believes the fires were intentionally set by the same person.

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A week after a blaze tore through an Allentown property owned by Nat Hyman, fire officials said they are investigating a second blaze at a Hyman property in the city.

City fire Capt. John Christopher confirmed crews were called for a fire in a room in the second floor of the building.

The property is a series of brick buildings which make up the block, between Gordon and West Liberty streets, and North Jordan Street and Jordan Meadows Park.

City fire Marshal Michael Taylor was not in the office Monday morning and was at an investigation scene.

The earlier fire started Oct. 7 and burned into the following day, gutting the four-story vacant warehouse that stretches about a half block on the 400 block of North Franklin Street in Allentown.

“Theres no way that either of these fires started, other than by someones hand,” he said Monday of the two blazes. “Either it was set intentionally … or it was set by mistake,” by a squatter or someone who broke into the building.

Hyman went on, “I believe that someone set the Franklin Street fire. This one (Gordon Street) seems a little too coincidental.”

Last week, Allentown city council approved spending $1.25 million for the emergency demolition of the building; Mayor Ray OConnell vowed to recoup the costs from Hyman.

Sarah Cassi may be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @SarahCassi. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

Posted in Allentown