SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — We now know the name of the man killed in a highrise fire in Lackawanna County Sunday night. He was identified as 63-year-old Joseph Thomas. More than 100 remain displaced Monday night after a fire in Scranton.
All 90 apartments were evacuated Sunday night. Eyewitness News spoke to residents and family members who gathered some of their belongings today about what was going through their head at the start of the fire.
“After a little bit I started to smell something. We opened our door to a wall of smoke, it was panic,” Betty Zindle said.
A fire Sunday night killed one and displaced 104 people from the United House apartment building in Scranton.
The fire started on the sixth floor. Zindle, who lived here for 10 years, lives on the seventh.
“Everything was a panic, there were people in wheelchairs, they were trying to get them out safely, the gentleman they tried to revive, they couldn’t,” Zindle said.
Zindle was back to collect her belongings Monday, telling Eyewitness News she’s able to stay at a hotel with her husband. She says she’s experienced a fire here once before.
“This one was more scary and more devastating because someone passed,” Zindle said.
A relative of another resident was also collecting belongings. Barbara Spindler says she was in a panic when she first learned of the fire.
“They said ‘no it’s a real fire’, and I’m like ‘you know she’ll never make it out. My sister will never make it out, she’s 78 years old’,” Spindler said.
Spindler tells Eyewitness News that crews are quickly working to clean up the damage.
“They have fans going, they don’t know when someone can come back into the building,” Spindler said.
Still shaken from the news of the fire, Spindler is thankful her sister was able to get out safely.
“It’s devastating, it’s heartbreaking. I mean, I feel bad that everybody was involved in this,” Spindler said.
We’ve learned some residents should be able to return to their homes tonight.