Workers with Mountain View Restoration boarded up what is left of two homes on Orwigsburg Street in Tamaqua Sunday. Flames ripped through the properties Saturday night. As the ashes and debris blow away from the scene, memories of Saturday’s fire remain intact for former resident Matt Oliver.
“I woke up for some odd reason. There was a fire in the house and I immediately fled the house,” he said.
Oliver has been staying with relatives since losing his home. Authorities say a mother and son who live next door to Oliver are also displaced.
Crews were called out to the scene around 8:30 at night. Oliver says he injured his leg trying to escape the blaze.
“They said I was lucky to get out,” said Oliver.
Fire officials said they worked hard to keep the fire from spreading using a blitz attack, but nearby homes did not escape damage.
Jennifer Yost lives with her children a few doors down from Oliver. She is staying with her mother until the smoke and water damage to her home is repaired. She says she’s sad this had to happen with the holidays approaching, but remains positive.
“I feel bad for my kids. A lot of stuff can’t be replaced, you just have to worry about what’s more important,” said Yost.
A few community members stopped by the scene, including the owner of Mum’s the Word, a thrift store in Tamaqua, to offer support to those impacted by the fire. With Thanksgiving days away, Oliver says he’s grateful.