Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County -- "I came down here and it's gone. Childhood memories in smoke," said Dan Yale. The Jones family home in Wilkes-Barre is now a total loss along the 100 block of Mill Street. The home where Mr. Yale grew up as a child caught fire early Sunday afternoon. He no longer lived there, but his mother, grandmother, brother and sister did. "It was flames everywhere. The road was smoked out," he said.
Eric Yale and his 14-year-old sister were the only ones home at the time. She raced to his bedroom to wake him up. "When I opened my door up, it was just a wall of smoke and then as I went down the steps there was... I looked in my kitchen and my whole kitchen was engulfed in flames," said Eric Yale. They both got out safely. As for the fire fight, it was anything but safe. Firefighters tried to battle the fire from inside the burning house but had to evacuate. "Our firefighters were in there for well over an hour, did their best to try to extinguish it, and things just deteriorated to the point where we had to pull them out," said Wilkes-Barre Fire Chief Jay Delaney.
One firefighter was hurt when part of the ceiling collapsed on him. Luckily his injuries are minor. As for the Jones family, they hope they can rebound from the devastation after losing their homestead of a quarter-century. "We grew up in that house and it's just all gone. There's no homeowner's insurance," said Amanda Jones who no longer lived in the home with her siblings, mother and grandmother. "All we have is each other. Thank God no one was hurt."
The Red Cross is providing emergency shelter and other provisions for the displaced family of four.