SUMMIT HILL -- A fire in Carbon County Wednesday destroyed three homes and leaves seven people looking for new places to stay.
The flames that destroyed three row homes in Summit Hill seemed to spread in just minutes, destroying the homes and taking the lives of several family pets.
Fire crews from across Carbon and Schuylkill Counties tried to stop fire from spreading through the three homes on East McMurtrie Street in Summit Hill.
Vincent Pavlick, 84, lived in the far left side with his daughter and called 911 just before noon. He got out safely with his dog Apollo.
"I don't know what made me look, and I said, I just turned around, I just had siding put on the whole house," said Pavlick.
Fire crews believe the flames started in the basement of the home on the far right where the Smith family lived.
"I was at work. My neighbor had called me and said, 'You better get home.' I thought he was kidding. I said, 'Why, what's wrong?' He said, 'Your house is on fire,'" Karen Smith said.
The Smiths moved to Summit Hill from New Jersey. Now this couple and their three teenagers need to find another place to stay.
"We bought this house and we fixed it all up. The last thing we had to do was three windows in the front of the house," said Smith.
After the fire was out, fire crews ripped apart the home, trying to make sure there weren't any hot spots inside those walls.
Crews pulled four cats from the fire. EMTs and a Carbon County Environmental Center worker tried doing CPR with specialized equipment, but were not able to save the pets.
"It's great that they had it here, some of the ambulance crews keep them just for this reason. It was great to have them, the timing was just not good, that's all," said Franklin Klock, Carbon County Environmental Education Center.
The families are thankful no one was hurt but aren't quite sure where they will go from here.
"Oh, boy. Oh, boy. It's always something. You can't win," said Pavlick.
A state police fire marshal will investigate the cause.