SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)- Firefighters in our region’s largest city continue their push to get smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in as many homes as possible.

This latest effort comes after a fire which displaced 25 tenants from an apartment that lacked these life-saving tools.

Brandon Learn pleaded for help as fire erupted from a three-story apartment building next door to his home on the 400 block of Prescott Avenue. 

It happened the night of March 25th in Scranton’s hill section. 

Within moments, first responders rushed to the scene as flames shot from the top of the building. 

“By the time they got here four minutes later, the whole third floor was fully engulfed,” Learn said.

Everyone inside at the time of the fire managed to escape safely thanks to the quick thinking of Learn and his mother. 

“We were moving cars out of this way, blowing our horns trying to get everybody out of the house because that’s what the number one priority was, get everybody and everything out of the house,” Learn said.

Fire crews battled the smoky blaze for hours. Investigators say the cause of the fire is still unknown but were able to discover that the property did not have a working fire alarm system or any smoke detectors. 

“It’s disappointing and frustrating to some level, but we’re gonna do everything we can to make sure that we continue to get that message out there and our goal is to have a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector in every residence across the city.,” Scranton Fire Department Chief John Judge said.

Since 2020, the Scranton Fire Department has offered free detectors and installation to homeowners who want them.  

Chief Judge says they continue to fulfill those requests in the hopes of getting them into as many homes as possible. 

“It’s an important initiative for us because early detection for a fire is critical,” Judge said.

After the too-close-for-comfort fire, Learn picked up a few more detectors for his home. He encourages others to do the same.  

“No matter if your landlords provide them or they don’t, go get them. That literally could have made everything faster and easier,” Learn said.  

The Scranton Fire Department’s smoke and carbon monoxide detector installation program is made possible by a Fire Prevention and Safety grant.

Scranton residents who want detectors can call 570-348-4132 or email smokedetectors@scrantonpa.gov.