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Two Dead After Carbon County Fire

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP -- Two men are dead after heavy smoke and flames destroyed an apartment building near Lehighton.

Fire officials say it happened around 5:30 p.m., Sunday, on Main Road in Franklin Township.

Tanya Farber lived in one of the apartments.

"I heard her yelling, 'There's a fire! Get out, get out, get out!'  I heard the lady who lives downstairs yelling and like I said I knew right away when the lights were flickering and I smelled it. Then I heard everyone yelling at the same time to get out, get out, get out. That's when we tried to get out as fast as we could," said Tanya Farber, Franklin Township.

Authorities identified one of the victims as Robert Fritzinger, 50.

Fritzinger died at a nearby hospital due to his injuries.

The name of the other man who died is not being released until his family is notified.

"It's horrible. I don't know them very well. My sister owns this house and I have visited many times. I've talked to them and I just feel horrible," said Jennifer Rhyder, Lehighton.

A state police fire marshal says the building is a total loss and it appears the fire may have started in the basement.

The building has four apartment units and three were occupied, one by a family of seven, another by a family of two, and one person lived in the third apartment.

Members of the family of seven were all about to get out safely after they heard their neighbors yelling about the flames.

"I heard people screaming, and I saw lights flickering, and I ran downstairs, and the place was already filling up with smoke and stuff," said Jasmine Keller, Franklin Township.

The Red Cross is helping all the families who were impacted.

The fire does not appear to be suspicious at this time.