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Last updated: February 17. 2013 10:05AM - 65 Views

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WILKES-BARRE – At least three residents were home when a four-unit apartment building caught fire at approximately 12:15 p.m. Saturday, according to Wilkes-Barre Assistant Fire Chief Edward Snarski.


No injuries were reported.


A large plume of black smoke billowing from the structure, 37-39 Hurley St., in the city's northernmost Miners Mills neighborhood was visible from downtown Wilkes-Barre as firefighters battled the blaze.


Snarski said the fire apparently began between the second and third floors of the three-story, double-block apartment building and was burning through the roof when firefighters arrived. Firefighters entered the building and attacked the fire from the second floor, then used a ladder platform truck to enter and fight the fire from the third floor, Snarski said. They brought the blaze under control in about an hour.


Two of the building's four apartments were occupied when the fire began, one by a single man and another by a couple, Snarski said, adding that the residents escaped unharmed. The assistant chief said tenants were living in all four of the first- and second-floor apartments.


The property owner, Veronica Welgess, owner of the Cracker Jack Bar at the corner of East Main and Hurley Street, declined to speak about the fire or say how many tenants lived in the building in total.


The Red Cross was called to assist the tenants with housing arrangements, Snarski said.


The fire caused heavy damage to the building's third floor, burning a hole through the roof, while the first and second floors suffered smoke and water damage, Snarski said.


Wilkes-Barre's fire investigator was called to investigate.


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