James Sutton says fire trucks barreling through Nanticoke woke him up around 5:30 Sunday morning, "I was actually up in my front room sleeping and I heard the fire department coming down Main Street and then down to Coal Street". When the sirens stopped just four homes down from Sutton's he jumped out of bed and ran out the front door, "I came out of my house and came down here and I seen the whole place up in flames".
When crews arrived on scene, flames were shooting from both sides and the back of this home that sits at 22 Coal Street. "The only place we didn't have fire coming out was the front. We had a lot of smoke coming out the front but the rest of it was all fire," said Assistant nanticoke Fire Chief, Chester Prymowicz. Crews immediately began to fight the fire, that Assistant Chief Prymowics said was too intense to send anyone inside, "We ended up going to a second alarm. We had units from Edwardsville, Kingston, Plymouth Township, Newport Township and Hanover Township assist us."
Both people living inside the home made it out safely, but their two dogs died in the blaze. The victims are being assisted by the Red Cross. First responders were just happy the homeowners made it out safely because this was one of the most intense fires they've seen in a long time. "Just the intensity of it. Usually at this time in the morning we don't have a fire this fully involved. This was really involved when we got here.
Five firefighters were injured, three of whom breathed in too much smoke, another who fell and another who was struck by debris. All were treated and released. A state Fire Marshal believes a problem with the home's furnace sparked the fire.
A fund is now set up to help the victims, monetary donations can be made to the Stortz Family Fund:
THE STORTZ FAMILY FUND
C/O VANTAGE TRUST FEDERAL CREDIT UNION
158 SOUTH MARKET ST.
NANTICOKE, PA 18634
Also any clothing for the vicitms, can be made to Nanticoke Fire Headquarters:
NANTICOKE FIRE HQ
2 EAST RIDGE STREET
NANTICOKE, PA 18634