Eyewitnesses Describe South Scranton Fire Rescues

Eyewitnesses Describe South Scranton Fire Rescues

Fire investigators are still looking for the exact cause of a fire at an apartment building in South Scranton Wednesday night.
Fire investigators spent the day Thursday looking into a blaze that damaged an apartment building in South Scranton Wednesday night.

Several people had to be rescued from the roof of the building while others, including a young girl, were pulled out of a window.

Fire officials think the fire started in the back of the building in the area of a back porch. They are calling the blaze "incendiary." That doesn't mean it is arson just yet. They say it means something was set on fire by someone, but they're not sure if it was intentional or accidental.

Neighbors of 310 Cedar Avenue watched as rescue after rescue took place while the fire was burning.

"People started coming out of the windows and on the roof and they turned a picnic table on its side so that they could get down but at the same time the fire department came and they put up a ladder on one side," eyewitness Felice Lupien said.

Luis Ramirez owns a business just down the street and was outside with two friends when the fire started.

"From the time that we actually saw the smoke to the rear of the building going up in flames was only maybe only two or three minutes. I saw one big puff of smoke and the next thing I saw was a gigantic blaze of fire," Ramirez said.

Ramirez and his friends quickly called 911 and raced over to the building. They pulled the air conditioner out of one first floor window and pulled two women and a young girl out.

They also helped two people who made it onto the roof.

"We got three women out the bottom floor and then two people out from the top, a man and a woman, so there was five people there," Ramirez said.

As Felice Lupien looked at a newspaper picture of the damage and looked across the street to the real thing, she's amazed no one was seriously hurt or killed.

"There was a lot of smoke from the fire. The smell of it was very strong and I give the firefighters a lot of credit," Lupien said.

The fire victims are all being helped out by the American Red Cross.

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