HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Flames ripped through a building in Luzerne County Friday morning. The fire displaced more than 10 people and sent one person to the hospital.
“Police got the call and they arrived on scene and that’s where they found a resident of the building trying to get a family member, him out of that apartment area,” said Chief Donald Leshko with the Hazleton City Fire Department.
It was a quick rescue as several crews from the Mountain City put out the early morning fire on North James Street. Two families are now displaced.
“There was about 10-12 people between the two apartments, living in the building, that were (displaced). The American Red Cross is assisting them along with some friends and family on scene, also,” Chief Leshko said.
As if knocking down the fire wasn’t hard enough during a cold snap in the beginning of April, knocking down the communication barrier while doing it was a whole other story.
“Every firefighter wants to join the crowd, you want to help your community, your neighbors,” said Eric Martinez, a Hazleton firefighter and translator.
Martinez is one of the Hazleton Fire Department’s three translators, and is an essential part of the operation as a firefighter first and a point of contact, second.
“Hey man, We got. We’re here for you we’re not gonna leave. No, I’m gonna translate everything you need. My chief is telling you I’m going to tell you, word for word, we’re going to get you the help if you have,” Martinez said.
Martinez says three translators are great, but they could certainly use more.
We’re here now, and we’re not seeing that many people come and speak, apart from other people. There’s always, there’s always somebody to help.
The State Police Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the fire, and there has been no update yet as to the condition of the man taken to the hospital.