Massive fire destroys two-story Dunmore home


DUNMORE – A massive, roaring fire destroyed a two-story house in Dunmore on Thursday where two residents escaped unharmed.

Orange flames shot out holes in the roof and the fire ravaged the attic and the second floor of the house at 404 Mortimer St. before firefighters extinguished the blaze.

Sam Malia, who lived in the home with his mother, Ingrid, paced around the block and quietly chatted with neighbors as a platoon of firefighters, their faces smudged with black soot, battled the blaze. He declined to take questions from a reporter.

After arriving about 2:30 p.m. to the house, firefighters tried to attack the interior but flames pushed them into defensive positions, Dunmore Fire Chief Christopher DeNaples said.

Using a tall ladder extended from a truck, a fireman blasted the smoldering house with a high-powered hose from above, while another doused it from the street in front, knocking debris from the facade and sending a river of dirty water down the hill. The fire was mostly out by 5 p.m.

The cause is unknown and state investigators will try to determine it in the coming days, the chief said.

The heat was strong enough to melt and ripple the siding on the house directly across the narrow street.

Fred Zantowsky, 59, who lives in the third floor apartment of that house, said he wasn’t home when the fire started but watched quietly as firefighters finished off the flames.

“I feel so sorry for the lady,” he said. “All her memories, everything is gone.”

Contact the writers: pcameron@timesshamrock, @pcameronTT on Twitter;, @kwindTT on Twitter

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