Five dogs perish in Plains Township fire

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Eight people left homeless

PLAINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — At least eight people are homeless Monday night and five pets were killed in a fast moving fire.

The flames swept through three homes in Plains Township late Monday morning. It was quite the scene on Skidmore Street Monday morning.

A double block was gutted and a single home nearby sustained heavy damage. People in this neighborhood say it will be a day they will never forget.

It was high drama as two men tried to rescue their neighbor’s dogs from a burning home on Skidmore Street in Plains Township, but the smoke and flames were too intense. You could see the smoke from miles away.

The flames showed no mercy and spreads very quickly. Three homes burned. 50, 52, and 54 Skidmore Street.

“I could smell smoke at my house. I live actually over a block, and you could smell it there. So, I came out and you can see smoke just billowing,” neighbor Kathy Dunsmuir said.

Firefighters from Plains Township and nearby communities converged on the scene but there wasn’t much they could do to save the homes.

“Plains is certainly a community that tries to take care of everybody. You have people taking care of the neighbors, taking care of the dogs,” neighbor and Plains Township Commissioner Thomas Shuvilla said.

Three dogs were rescued. Five others did not make it out of 52 Skidmore Street. Angie Brown was at work when the fire erupted.

“I do not know. I was coming to lunch and my boss asked me where I lived and I told him and he said I think your house is on fire. I just raced here where I found, I don’t even know, what happened. Nobody was like, nobody was home,” Brown said.

Fire chief Mark Ritsick says the fire is not suspicious, however the cause may never be known because of the extent of the damage. All total eight people lived in the three homes, including a mother and father and their three young children.

They got out okay, but lost almost everything in the fire.

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