WILKES-BARRE — Fire damaged a Madison Street residence Thursday and displaced four people and their pets.
No one was home at the time and the fire appears to be accidental, said Wilkes-Barre Deputy Fire Chief Alan Klapat. Two adults and two children were going to seek assistance from the Red Cross, he said.
According to a Facebook post by the Wilkes-Barre City Firefighters Local 104 of the International Association of Fire Fighters, the fire was in the kitchen on the first floor. It extended to the second floor through a back wall. Firefighters were on scene for approximately two hours.
A woman walking on nearby East Hollenback Street said she saw smoke coming from the second floor at the rear of the double-block home at 278 Madison St. and called 911.
Kenya Douglas said she then went to the front of the house. “I was banging on the door,” Douglas said. She tried opening it, but it was locked.
Neighbors came out of their residences and one of them said the woman who lives in the house works around the corner, according to Douglas.
Jonathan Renoll and Kalei Weidow had just left their house and heard sirens.
“We smelled smoke,” Weidow said.
Renoll pounded on the front door and said he thought about kicking it in. “I was about to,” he said.
A neighbor said the woman works at the beauty salon around the corner and Weidow ran to it. Weidow said when she reached the salon she went inside and said, “Whoever lives at 278 Madison your house is on fire.”
The woman who lived there “went running” out of the salon, recalled Weidow.
The woman entered her house through the back door on the first floor and rescued her birds and a hamster, according to Weidow and Renoll.
Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.