FACTORYVILLE, WYOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A stubborn fire ripped through a Wyoming County apartment building, sending one woman to the hospital, killing two pets and displacing at least five people.
It was bright flames, billowing smoke and the hum of fire engines that filled this quiet college town in Factoryville.
“Me and my friends here were riding our bikes and I just heard, or smelled smoke,” Aaden Cobb said.
It was nothing Cobb and his friends thought twice about until they saw smoke while riding around the local school off college avenue.
“When we got back to at least like right here on the bridge, the whole back end of the house was on fire,”
In the neighboring Old O-Ring Factory, new out-of-state business owners Steven Holm and Hugo Gonzalez soon realized they were very close to the fire.
“I went out the backside of this lower level right here, and noticed flames pouring off the back deck,” Holm said.
“With the adrenaline pumping, you don’t know what you’re scared or if you’re okay or you just want to, you know, get out of it before anything else happens,” Gonzalez said.
This was a stubborn fire, taking several fire crews hours to knock down as part of the home collapsed onto itself near the back porch.
“I told my daughter and she literally did not have shoes or socks on and ran 0.3 miles to the fire station,” Barbara Kazmierczak of Dalton said.
Among them, Kazmierczak’s daughter, a junior firefighter for Dalton. She felt pride and gripping fear as the water flew and the smoke billowed thicker and thicker.
“It’s like scary to be here. I mean I hear about the fires that these people go to but to really be here and watch it and know people that are, you know, fighting is terrifying,” Kazmierczak said.
Having seen the extent of the smoke and fire as well as talking with so many people through the course of the afternoon, they agree: This could have been much worse.
The woman taken to the hospital is expected to make a full recovery, and one cat was saved from the flames.