Allentown fire that ravaged businesses leaves property owners at loss for words

By Danielle Nelson

*This article is posted on The Express Times website.

Fire2Two businesses were damaged in a blaze in the 1300 block of North Irving Street in Allentown on May 26, 2014. Photo Credit Mike Nester | For


Owners of two Allentown businesses damaged in a stubborn, two-alarm blaze today said they could only watch helplessly as firefighters attacked the flames.

RDM Enterprises, a business at 1302 N. Irving St. that sells accessories for stringed musical instruments, will have to be torn down, owner Feimin Fann said.

Firefighters were summoned to the building about 4 p.m. and were still pouring water on it nearly three hours later. The fire near American Parkway produced thick smoke that was visible for miles.

An adjoining business, Consolidated Carpet Mills, received heavy smoke and water damage.

Mark Pitkoff, whose brother-in-law Keith Fraley owns the family-run carpet store, said the establishments are separated by a cinder block wall. No one was in the place at the time, he said.

“We were at a picnic and we got a call from the alarm company at the building,” Pitkoff said. The carpet business has been in the family for 37 years, he said.

RDM Enterprises has been around for more than 50 years, Fann said. His family purchased the business in 2007. No one was inside when the fire started, Fann said.

He learned of the blaze in a call from Allentown officials, he said, and said he wasn’t sure what he would do now that he’s been told the building will have to come down.

Besides the Allentown Fire Department, crews from PPL and UGI Inc. also were called to the scene.

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