Flames Damage Apartment Building, Day Care Center

Firefighters in Luzerne County battled both flames and frigid temperatures early Wednesday morning when fire broke out in a vacant apartment complex and threatened a day care center.

The fire started just about a half hour before the day care center on Main Street in Plains Township would have opened.

Instead police turned away parents as they arrived to drop off their children.

Just after 6 a.m fire crews responded to the blaze North Main Street in Plains Township near Wilkes-Barre.

The fire chief said the blaze likely started on the first floor of the vacant apartment building. Crews managed to keep the fire from ruining the Building Blocks Learning Center next door.

“It`s not too bad, there`s a little bit of smoke smell. We are really happy and it`s amazing looking at what happened to the other structure that our building is not really affected so the fire department did a fantastic job,” said Allison Davis of Building Blocks Learning Center.

The day care center usually holds around 60 children and 10 instructors. They have been moved to another facility near The Woodlands, until further notice.

Mike Lazovich lives next door to the vacant apartment building and said he was scared.

“Real nervous, real nervous. I have my grandson here with me. It got a little smoky. Smoke got in our eyes, but just kept an eye on it through the window, kept checking with the firemen and they said it was okay,” Lazovich said.

When the flames broke out, it was barely five degrees outside and the water froze almost instantly. Ice covered the building, the road and even the fire truck.

“It`s very challenging. You`ve got ice, cold weather.  We are on the roof with water, water and ice. It makes it very slippery. The roadway was slippery, the roof and inside the structure, setting up ladders, pulling the hose, it just makes our job extra hard,” said Plains Township Deputy Fire Chief Mark Whitsick.

No one was injured in the fire. Crews continue to search for a cause.

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