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No connection between Pottstown fire and 2022 house explosion: fire chief

An investigation of a connection between two destroyed Pottstown homes after fire
An investigation of a connection between two destroyed Pottstown homes after fire 02:12

POTTSTOWN, Pa. (CBS) -- In Montgomery County, a 2-alarm fire in Pottstown destroyed two homes.

Fire crews were called out to Jefferson Avenue and Hale Street around 4:15 a.m. Tuesday.

It happened close to the site of last year's deadly house explosion -- a blast that remains unexplained. Coincidentally, each of the gutted homes had been damaged from that explosion. 


Ten months later, that home is still missing part of its siding.

A fire ripped through two houses Tuesday morning just 100 feet away.

"I grew up in this house," Suenita Soto said.

Soto shared a photo of her childhood home that went up in flames Tuesday morning, destroying the home and so many of her memories.

"It's sad because it's gone," Soto said. "And it's our family history."

Chopper 3 was over the scene earlier Tuesday. It took firefighters about an hour to knock out the flames.

The fire chief told CBS News Philadelphia the blaze began outside the home but officials are still working to figure out what caused it. 

"Both homes were vacant," Chief Frank Hand, of the Pottstown Fire Department, said. "There was no one living in them. You can see the dumpster - they were in the process of being demoed." 


Each of the gutted homes had been damaged from last year's explosion that happened about 100 feet away and killed five people, including four children. 

But the fire chief insists there is no connection between Tuesday's fire and last year's explosion. 

"There was no explosions, there was no anything to believe happened with the other incident in this neighborhood," Hand said.  

"It's heartbreaking. We'll never be able to recover from this," Soto said. 

Hand said the deadly house explosion is still under investigation. 

Neighbors in Pottstown are frustrated they still don't know what happened. 

"It just seems like it's a long wait and a long process," Dorothy Auman said.  

"We're waiting for answers, what else can we do?" Sharon Thomas said. 

Attorney Jordan Strokovsky represents about 25 neighbors who were impacted by the explosion. 

"My clients would like answers as soon as possible and we hope the authorities will provide that," Strokovsky said. 

Meanwhile, authorities remain tight lipped. 

"Most of that information will be coming out as soon as we get a final report from all the agencies involved," Hand said. 

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