Quick Thinking Neighbor Rushes to Save Family from Fire

Published 08/08 2014 11:59AM

Updated 08/08 2014 12:09PM

Carbondale, Lackawanna County- Flames were shooting from the roof of a home at 25 Wayne Street in Carbondale early Friday morning.
  The Michalek family has lived there for decades -- and were home at the time.
 Richard Michalek described those first moments of the fire to Eyewitness News Reporter Eric Deabill
"I heard a pop and i went out to back deck and I saw the fire and I yelled to my wife to get out."

  That was easier said than done....
  A quick-thinking neighbor used a ladder to help Marie Michalek and her dog "Buddy" get to safety from a second floor window.

"Marie was standing in the window engulfed in smoke in the 2nd floor. Somebody had a ladder and started to put it up..." said Del Riffe who lives nearby.

  Neighbors say the "hero" who helped Marie is named "Tom."
  As daylight broke -- he wasn't at home -- because neighbors say his wife was going to a baby.

"Tom does a lot around the house so I'm sure it was very, very close at hand." said neighbor Kris Reynold

  It wasn't just the Michalek home that was destroyed.
  Flames also damaged an adjacent double-block home on 8th avenue.
  You can now see the damage to both properties.
  Firefighters believe the 8th Avenue property can be salvaged -- but they think the Wayne Street home will have to be torn down.
  As for a cause of the fire -- investigators think it started between the two structures.

"We're looking at between the two structures, we're looking at there's a possibly of a shed between the two structures which contained lawnmowers, etc, gasoline, things of that nature." Chief Chris Pezak of the Carbondale Fire Department told Eyewitness News
As of right now, the Carbondale fire chief does not believe this morning's fire is suspicious -- but a state police fire marshal is looking into the exact cause of the flames.

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