Dupont, Luzerne County -- A charred first floor is what's left of a Dupont apartment that one man called home in the 200 block of Main Street. The rear lower level of the five unit building is in shambles after an arsonist struck Monday morning around 7:00. A next door neighbor woke up to witness the flames. "When I looked out my kitchen window I directly looked at the fire which was coming out from underneath the rear porch," said Louis Micklasavage. He watched the early commotion. "Obviously a lot of people running around here," said Mr. Micklasavage. Another next door neighbor, Mike Gitkos, added "I heard the sirens. I see a fire truck in front of our house with a hose running this way. I thought our house might have been on fire." Instead it was Mr. Gitkos' neighbor's home which he thought was vacant. "We always called it the haunted house of the street. It's a lot darker than all the other houses here. We never see any activity going on."
One tenant did live inside the torched building. He got out safely and received help from the Red Cross. Meanwhile, fire crews had to battle more than flames. The rear porch that was set ablaze was filled with garbage, automobile parts and other debris. "Pretty much all that you see outside there was what was on the porch on the point of origin," said Dupont Volunteer Hose Company Chief Donald Hudzinski, Jr.
Five fire companies helped save the building. Neighbors who now know an arsonist wanted to destroy it find the fire unsettling. "It's a little nerve racking. I'm thinking about buying cameras for around the house just to be safe," said Mr. Gitkos who became a crime victim last week. Someone snipped his outdoor christmas light decorations. Now, he's wondering if the person who did that is the same one who set his neighbor's apartment on fire.