SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A weekend fire left nearly two-dozen people displaced and three Scranton firefighters injured.
On Monday investigators learned the cause of the fire as they were called back to the scene twice for the building smoldering. Police tape is still up and the apartments were condemned after the roof and floor caved in.
“Everything we worked for, 12 years it’s literally gone. It’s gone,” said Ishalamayra Fred, fire victim.
Fred continues to face reality. Eyewitness News interviewed her Sunday as the apartment building was on fire and we caught up with her again as she came back to the scene Monday without all the chaos.
“I literally grew up here, I was hoping my daughter could see where I grew up and now she is going to have to come and not see a building,” Fred expressed.
The fire broke out just after 11:00 Sunday morning at Scranton Housing Authority’s Apartment Complex at Emmett Street and Fourth Avenue. Residents were able to get their neighbors out safely.
Firefighters spent hours containing the fire as the roof and the apartment floor caved in. The cause is being ruled electrical.
“I guess it started from my apartment 208 and went over to 206 and then it just got over and over and that’s how it got started,” explained Fred.
The American Red Cross has been assisting nearly two dozen families with hotels and monetary relief. The authority is working to get families into other apartments.
“We have different sites throughout the city but we have a couple, four bedrooms, and three bedrooms that are available. We’re just trying to coordinate that right now,” said Karl Lynott, Deputy Executive Director, Scranton Housing Authority.
The Housing Authority says residents are able to enter their apartments to retrieve what they can, but must be accompanied by a maintenance employee or the fire department.
“What’s left, I’m not sure. But we want them to have that opportunity. The firemen did go in yesterday and retrieve pets, wallets, medicine, that kind of stuff,” Lynott explained.
The housing authority is aiming to get the families into an apartment by the end of the week.
As for the three injured firefighters, they have been released from the hospital and are doing well.