WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Firefighters doused a fire that destroyed a shed and damaged a residence at 336 Center St. this afternoon, displacing one resident.
Assistant Fire Chief Danny Harkenreader said a lawn tractor someone was working on caught on fire, and the fire spread to a can of gasoline and then engulfed the shed.
Firefighters had the flames knocked down within about 10 minutes of their arrival, but not before the flames spread to and damaged part of the exterior wall and some eaves of the adjacent home. The fire was reported at about 5:20 p.m.
Harkenreader said no one was injured in the blaze.”The guys did a pretty good job, especially with this heat. When I got here, it was going pretty good. The side of the house did start to burn. I was worried about that. These old houses have siding on top of siding on top of siding,” he said.
While the shed was destroyed, the house sustained a little smoke and water damage but “can definitely be saved,” Harkenreader said.
Ronnie Melodick said he was repairing the lawn tractor so he could cut his girlfriend’s lawn. He said the carburetor caught fire while he was moving the mower out of the shed and the fire reached the can of gasoline before he could. He said his girlfriend, Ruth Yankowski, is renting the home and will stay with a family member.
Melodick said he tried to get Yankowski’s cat out of the home but couldn’t find it. A firefighter carried out the cat, which appeared alert and unharmed, at about 6:05 p.m.