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Share Messages of Support for Fire Victims, Volunteers

The Saucon Valley was rocked Thursday by one of the worst disasters in recent memory. Share messages of support for those who responded to the tragedy and the victims themselves.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated.

Thursday has been compounded by in the 1pm dump truck accident that sparked the blaze.

As of early Friday afternoon, Route 412 south of Hellertown has been reopened to traffic, although WFMZ has reported that Pennsylvania State Police remain in the area, where they are investigating the cause of the accident.

The driver of the dump truck that struck the fire station has been identified as Michael Thomas, who the Express-Times reports is an employee of William Kunsman Paving and Seal Coating of Bethlehem.

Thomas--who --was last reported to be in stable condition with serious burns to his arms, although the Express-Times story indicates that his condition was not immediately available this morning.

The man who was killed when Thomas' dump truck struck his vehicle on Route 412 has not yet been identified.

Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek said the man is from the local area, but authorities have more than one address for him, according to the Express-Times.

In the wake of a tremendous response from volunteer fire companies from throughout the region, the accident and fire remain under investigation as of Friday afternoon.

It has been reported that at least three fire company vehicles were destroyed in the inferno.

On Hellertown Patch's Facebook page, many readers are concerned about the human toll this tragedy has taken.

Readers are offering their condolences to the victims and their families, and asking about how they can help the fire company--which was with the township's --with donations.

"So many memories cannot be replaced, along with all the things that were paid for out of volunteers pockets," wrote Megan Galle. "This was not just a fire station for many, it was a second home. Those volunteers were proud of their station."

Please leave messages of support for the victims of the tragedy by posting a comment below.

When it becomes available, Patch will provide information about how community members can donate to any relief funds that may be established.

Priscilla deLeon May 25, 2012 at 07:19 PM
This is a horrible tragedy for our community. Thank you to all the volunteer emergency responders, neighboring fire companies and everyone who helped with your efforts. Words can’t describe what a loss this is to the Saucon Valley and especially the Leithsville area. Our volunteers work very hard to serve and protect us. The victims and their families are in my thought and prayers.
Jeannette Weitzel May 25, 2012 at 07:57 PM
My heart aches for the firefigters and members of the Leithsville Fire Department. Having spent many years involved with a volunteer fire department in the Lancaster area, where my son is now the Deputy Chief, I know how hard these dedicated people work and give of their own time to train and keep the community safe. And there are the countless hours of fund raising to be able to provide the most up to date equipment to do their job and keep us safe. Now to see that all lost in one afternoon is just heartbreaking. But knowing firefighters as I do, they are a resilient group, and will not let this stand in the way of doing everything they can to continue to do their job. They are always there for us, now we must be there for them, by supporting their fund raisers; and thanking them for all they do for us. You are our Heros!
Cheryl Christman May 26, 2012 at 08:35 PM
As residents of Bingen, we are very sorry about this devastating loss. Our condolenses to the family who lost their loved one. We wish the driver a complete recovery. I am sure you will find great support in whatever you do in the form of future fundraisers to help replace what was lost. Cheryl and Bob Christman
Matt Doddy May 26, 2012 at 09:57 PM
As a former volunteer EMT/Firefighter myself, I know how much the "Station" and equipment means to them, it's surreal to see it all destroyed, I know the strong brotherhood of firefighters in our area will pitch in and get them back on their feet once again with the help of our community- as others have said, they're always here for us, it's time for us to be there for them. Matt Doddy
Josh Popichak (Editor) May 29, 2012 at 11:01 PM
A donation page has been created and added to the Se-Wy-Co website. For details about how to make a donation, go to: http://www.sewyco-fc.org/leithsville.html. I am told that an online donation feature is also in the works.

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