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Crews contain fire at Exeter Township strip mall; fitness and pet businesses evacuated

Emergency crews battled a fire Tuesday afternoon at a strip mall on Perkiomen Avenue in Exeter Township.

Multiple callers about 2:50 p.m. reported flames on the roof of Exeter Fitness and Training at 4270 Perkiomen Ave.

Perfect Match Pet Shop and Rescue at 4274 Perkiomen Ave. also was evacuated, according to emergency reports.

Crews responded within minutes and reported smoke showing from the roof of the single-story strip mall that contains both buildings.

Fire crews responding to calls of a fire at a strip mall in Exeter Township noticed smoke showing from the roof. (Courtesy of Brian Rhein)
Fire crews responding to calls of a fire at a strip mall in Exeter Township noticed smoke showing from the roof. (Courtesy of Brian Rhein)

Fire departments from Exeter, Birdsboro, Mount Penn, Reading, and Mohnton, as well as Monarch Fire Co. and Gibraltar Fire Company responded, according to Brian Rhein, Exeter Township Fire Department deputy chief.

Firefighters opened up the roof and ran lines through the fitness center and the pet store, and a fan was deployed to disperse the smoke.

The fire engulfed a heating and air conditioning unit on top of the pet store, and extended into the roofs of the pet shop and the fitness center, Rhein said.

He said crews remained on the scene for over an hour and a half.

Crews contained the fire before it breached the interior of either building, but both businesses sustained water damage, Rhein said.

He said the cause of the fire is still to be determined, but the bulk of the blaze was surrounding the HVAC unit.

The bulk of the fire at an Exeter Township strip mall Tuesday, June 4, 2024, was surrounding an HVAC unit on the roof of Perfect Match Pet Shop and Rescue, officials said. (Courtesy of Brian Rhein)

“It’s still to be determined if it was malfunctioning, if it was electrical,” Rhein said.

Rhein noted that the pet store was able to evacuate caged animals, with fish and other harder to transport animals being evacuated later.

“(The pet store) is not going to have electric for a short time,” Rhein noted.

No one was injured in the blaze, Rhein said.

A damage estimate was not available Tuesday evening.


Source: Berkshire mont

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